Wilson Atta Krofa THE GHANA National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has added its voice to the call by the Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) on government to allow the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to henceforth handle the classification and evaluation of imported goods.
Thus, the function which hitherto was taken over by Destination Inspection Companies (DICs) during the NPP administration's era now becomes the duty of CEPS.
At a news conference in Tema recently, GIFF called for the restoration of such a duty to CPS, indicating it will provide a one-stop facility and eliminate the frustration that oftentimes emerges in dealing with DICs.
GIFF maintained that DICs were not efficiently playing their roles hence the delays and complications in importing as well as processing imported goods at the ports with increasing costs.
Owing to the myriad of problems that arose out of the inefficiency of DICs in handling such a function, CEPS last year announced that it was ready to take over.
This happened at a time when the contracts of some DICs were about to expire. Shockingly, the former government renewed their contracts. This was after a new office facility for that purpose had been built and publicly commissioned.
The former government did this without consulting CEPS, shippers and freight forwarders.
DICs were asked to take over this function of CEPS on excuses that CEPS lacked the capacity to carry out classification and valuation of goods for duty purposes. Ironically, DICs had to be coached by personnel from CEPS to effect the classification and valuation of goods.
Presently, DICs operate with the assistance of CEPS officers and what even makes their services cumbersome is the fact that they operate not from the ports but from Accra – a situation which adds several unnecessary costs to the business of importers and further complicating the process of clearing.
By Samuel Boadi