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18.05.2009 General News

Maritime Facilitation Committee To Be Revived

By Daily Graphic
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The Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr Issaka Peter Azumah, has said immediate steps are being taken to revive the National Maritime Facilitation Committee.

He said this at the just-ended sub-regional maritime seminar on the Single Window Concept and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) at Tema in the Greater Accra Region.

This was in response to a call by the Deputy Minister for Transport, Ms Dzifa Ativor, for the revival of the committee.

Mr Azumah said the call came at an opportune time when the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is encouraging seaports across the continent to reduce the use of paper and adopt the electronic system of clearing cargo.

The Head of the Maritime Safety Division of the IMO, Captain Beatrice Dzifa Vormawor, said maritime administrations ought to promote greater sensitisation of stakeholders to the use of IMO's standardised forms, as well as encourage a full implementation of international conventions and treaties.

These include the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code to reduce the incidents of stowaway and drug trafficking.

The Executive Secretary of the Stevedoring Association, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, on behalf of the participants, thanked the organisers and called on port authorities to consider the use of sniffer dogs and also improve the control of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and scanners in carrying out physical inspections on vehicular and human traffic.

The participants also called on port administrations to consider the use of IMO Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), forms which are not being used in the sub-region, although they are available.

The acting Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr Nestor Percy Galley, expressed the hope that the workshop will effectively serve its purpose.

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