The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has revealed that it is working towards the introduction of a modern e-cargo tracking system. The Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Ethics and Good Governance at Customs, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah disclosed this during an interaction on the eye on the port program.
This initiative is in collaboration with partners from the USA, under the Security Governance Initiative (SGI). As such, he stated that the US government will fund the procurement and operational processes. He added that the US government will do this through its Customs and Border Protection Agency. However, they are yet to disclose the cost of the project.
According to Mr. Iddisah, the e-tracking system will provide durable smart devices with long lasting battery life that can trigger alarms during any abusive practices. He explained that there are some of the devices that has the power to last for about two months.
“They also have devices that will give you details of the declaration of the goods inside. So, if there is any tampering, it would give alerts”.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner stated that the prospective e-tracking system has smart technology and other sophisticated features. The system, according to him, will serve as support to the trackers that are already being deployed in the country. Also, he expects the system to provide efficiency in monitoring at the ports.
“This facility will provide real time monitoring. The intention is that for goods with high revenue and security implications, we will use this in addition to what exists”.
Furthermore, Mr. Iddisah stated that a flawless cargo tracking system will benefit all parties in the transit trade. He explained that it would lead to decongestion at the port and secure government revenues. Additionally, it will facilitate trade while fishing out offenders.
Also, he indicated that the vision of this project is to strengthen collaboration between Customs in neighboring countries. Thus, aiding tracking of cargoes beyond the borders of Ghana. Moreover, he revealed that the system is already running in some African countries.
“We saw that’s being done in Kenya. Somebody could move with transit goods from the port of Mombasa and it will be monitored up to Rwanda or Uganda”.
Phases of the project
Meanwhile, Mr. Iddisah indicated that the project is in three phases. According to him, phase 1 involves highlighting of some challenges associated with tracking of transit cargo. It also involves identifying inputs for improvement. Phase 2 of the project will see the introduction of a prototype that takes into consideration the inherent problems identified. Moreover, the final phase will involve the full deployment of the system.
Additionally, Mr. Iddisah pointed out that findings revealed some inaccuracies associated with the monitoring of cargoes. According to him, some of them include strength of devices, insufficient gadgets, and internet connectivity problems. He explained that these challenges have contributed to some delays and malpractices like cargo diversion.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Iddisah noted that the SGI is also working towards improving interoperability among security agencies. The aim is to facilitate trade, augment cargo security, revenue collection and road safety.
Furthermore, he indicated that under the SGI, the US government is already collaborating with other African countries to deploy the e-tracking system. Some of these countries include Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Nigeria. e-cargo e-cargo e-cargo
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