Ghana: GCNet Adjudged Trade Facilitation Organisation of the Year

For the third consecutive year, the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) has been adjudged the Trade Facilitation Organisation of the Year at the Ghana Shippers Awards recently held in Accra.

The company was also recognised as Company of the Year.

GCNet emerged as the winner for the two awards because of its pioneering and leadership role in the trade facilitation industry.

GCNet at the centre of Ghana's digitisation journey has leveraged technology to transform the economy through the deployment of innovative systems that facilitate trade, reduce the associated cost of trade, improve business competitiveness and also enhance revenue mobilisation.

The Ghana Shippers Awards recognises excellence and hard work and encourages strict adherence to compliance and transparency in the transport and shipping industry.

In all, there were 52 award categories in the 2019 Ghana Shippers Awards, with 15 penned for special recognition awards to industry actors who have excelled in their contribution to reshaping the ecosystem for growth.

Commenting on the award, General Manager of GCNet, Mr Alwin Hoegerle, said "the company has continued to leverage technology to reshape the trade facilitation and revenue mobilisation space. Today, we provide an end- to- end smart e-solution for clearance at the ports. We are in a unique position with broad overview of business registration, domestic taxation and international customs duties as a result of our systems deployed."

He said "to ensure Transparency & Revenue Assurance to Custom operations, GCNet deployed the Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP), a comprehensive web-based suite to further enhance the Single Window offering. The TFP ensures maximum synergy between Customs, Logistics Partners and Other Government Agencies while enhancing user experience and improving the ease of doing business." he observed

In addition, he said, GCNet had deployed the third version of the Ghana Customs Management Systems (GCMS) and the advanced version of the Manifest document to facilitate fast clearance of goods from the ports.

GCNet, he said, had also facilitated the smooth implementation of the First Port Duty Rule policy directive and integrated the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) with the National Petroleum Authority's (NPA) Petroleum Orders and related payment requirements to petroleum tax revenue collection.

According to Mr Hoegerle, these major milestones in the past year have added value to the trade facilitation ecosystem and impacted positively in Ghana's position in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Transport, Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover, pledged the ministry's commitment to work with all stakeholders to create a conducive regime through the provision of the necessary infrastructure and policy support that engenders a competitive business environment for accelerated development.

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck, noted that the continued educational engagements with stakeholders had contributed to reduction of demurrage costs and improved turn-around time.

She assured that the Authority would work to ensure the provision of robust, enduring infrastructure and systems that enhance the maritime regime

To date, GCNet has invested more than $80m in system and infrastructure upgrades to ensure data integrity, business continuity and security in the trade facilitation and revenue mobilisation ecosystem, with significant increase in the customs tax revenue mobilisation realised from GH₵13.1bn in 2016 to GH₵15.3bn (exclusive of Petroleum Tax) in 2017 and GH₵ 16.3bn collected in 2018.

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