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24.10.2005 Business & Finance

CEPS to improve clearance of goods

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Tema, Oct. 24, GNA - The Tema Collection Point of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) has taken measures to bring sanity into the clearance of goods from the Tema port to avert fraudulent deals in order to step up revenue collection.

Among the measures is the introduction of a computerised system of clearance procedure of vehicles which gives accurate, objective and viable data on the shipment of vehicles right from take off to the arrival point in Tema. The Tema CEPS Commander, Mr Samuel Yankyera disclosed this when he conducted newsmen round the various discharging points and car parks at Tema on Monday.

Vehicles from European countries are checked at the PC Car Pro software, while those from America are under NADA soft ware. Until then, the manual system was in operation and it often gave wrong information because importers deliberately under-declared their goods on the manifest, which produced low value thus allowing the evasion of tax.

To check the elimination of unscrupulous activities by importers and officers alike from the system, he said the computers which are a network system have been installed at strategic areas at the car park within the port.

According to him the present system would make it very difficult for any one to cheat the government through dubious deals by evading tax and warned that anybody caught would be made to face the law.

He explained that, in line with the gateway programme a lot of measures are being taken to facilitate clearance of goods, to eliminate constraints as well as reduce malfeasance from the system, thereby improving revenue collection, which has reduced through illegal connections and mentioned the Gcnet, which is already in operation. With regard to the privileges enjoyed under the transit goods, which do not go thorough checking at the port, the Commander said some unscrupulous importers are taking advantage of that to bring in all sorts of cargo to dodge checking and duty.

However, he said, two containers of footwear and bicycle parts being cleared under transit privilege were found out to be false as they had no legal documents accompanying them and had been intercepted. Investigations are underway and the culprits would be dealt with according to the law, adding that the duty and penalty on the goods total one billion cedis.

Mr. Yankyera said three officers who failed to be at post at the transit point thus allowing the goods to have gone through were being investigated.

In the same vain, three people, including a driver, Kramo Iddrisu who under-declared quantities of rice loaded into four trucks for Cote d'ivore through Elubo have been arrested. He said instead of 5,000 bags of rice they declared only 1,950 and diverted 3,050 bags to evade duty and the owner was given as Lily Lambert.