All containers that enter the country are to be scanned under a new security regime.The move, which is in strict compliance with the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code,is also aimed at ensuring that the right contents in the containers are declared for the necessary taxes to be charged.
The Minister of Ports,Harbours and Railways,Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, made this known in an interview in Accra yesterday on measures being taken to check fraud and false declaration of container contents, which go to deprive the state of millions of dollars annually.
Ghana has been described as one of the destinations of stolen vehicles and other goods as a result of poor security at the sea ports.In the middle of this year, the minister, acting upon a tip-off, caused the interception of four containers whose contents had been declared as used clothing but which,after a thorough check,were found to contain more than 14 luxury vehicles imported from Canada.
The minister also ordered investigations into the whereabouts of four other containers whose contents were believed to be vehicles but had been declared as used clothing.“We started the process last month on a pilot scheme and we have made significant progress, with a good number of containers having already been mandatorarily scanned,” he said.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said after a meeting with the company that won the bid to undertake the project, together with the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS),the scanning period had been extended for another month.He said securing the ports and making them fetch the needed revenue for the state had been one of the main priorities of the ministry and pledged its commitment to achieve that aim.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi urged CEPS and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to be vigilant to intercept any goods that were smuggled into the country.