Breakdown Of Issues Relating to The Unstuffing of Containers at Terminal 3 in The Port Of Tema

05-12-2019

Breakdown Of Issues Relating to The Unstuffing of Containers at Terminal 3 in The Port Of Tema

Attention has been widely drawn to a recent newspaper publication and statements in the media about the issue of services rendered at Terminal 3 of Tema Port by MPS for which Tariffs are being charged for no work done; a cause for adequate and prompt response.

In order to set the records straight, MPS wishes to assure all its esteemed customers that at no point are fees charged for services not rendered.

Regarding upfront payment for services at the Intrusive Inspection Platform the stages involved are as follows:

The consignee submits all declarations to Customs once the commercial documents become available using the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS).

Customs will risk assess the declaration via the National Integrated Risk Management System (NIRMS) and issue a Customs Classification and Valuation Report (CCVR) with the risk level.

For purposes of customs clearance, there are three categories of containers determined by the National Integrated Risk Management System i.e. Green Channel, Yellow Channel, and Red Channel containers.

Containers may have to be physically opened and inspected under the supervision of the cross-border agencies (Customs, Food & Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Narcotics Control Board, National Security) at the Intrusive Inspection Platform based on the category to which they belong.

1. All containers in the Red Channel category are pre-determined by the National Integrated Risk Management System to be physically inspected at the Customs Inspection Platform. Because the Red Channel Containers are pre-determined to be physically inspected, their consignees are required to make upfront payments for their inspection. This is the standard procedure.

a. If for any reason the cross-border agencies responsible for overseeing the inspection believes that any Red Category container should not be inspected, then the officer responsible is required to document the waiver of inspection. The consignee is then required to send the waiver to MPS for a refund of the amount prepaid for the inspection. This process is to ensure the traceability of all transactions during an audit.

2. Containers placed in the Green Channel category are scanned and allowed to depart the port immediately. Because these containers are NOT supposed to be inspected at the Intrusive Inspection Platform, consignees are NOT required or requested to make any payment for inspection of this category of cargo.

3. Consignees of containers placed in the Yellow Channel category are not required or requested to make any upfront payment prior to scanning. When the Yellow Channel Containers are scanned and the verdict shows any identified discrepancies with the manifest, then there is deemed to be an anomaly. In such cases, the Yellow Channel Container is required to be inspected. The Payment for the services at the Customs Inspection Platform is required to be made.

a. However, when the Yellow Channel category container is scanned and there is no anomaly in the verdict of the scanned image, the container is allowed to exit Terminal 3 without further inspection neither is the consignee required to make any payment for intrusive inspection.

We have set out below the chart of the flow process leading to the clearance of cargo from the port for the sake of good order and ease of reference.

We wish to reiterate that, MPS is committed to facilitating trade growth whilst at the same time providing the state apparatus with the technological infrastructure to enable them to safeguard state revenues and border security.

It is therefore unfair for the said allegations to be made against MPS without any basis and detract the business community from realizing the benefits that come with the development of the state-of-the-art Terminal 3 built and being operated by MPS.

In our commitment to work with the statutory authorities to achieve the above, we have procured Six (6) modern scanners for the import and export gates. For the avoidance of doubt, the scanner image analysis is exclusively operated by the Customs (not MPS). Moreover, MPS has invested and deployed the following technologies: Weigh Bridges in each gate lane in & out, Optical Character Recognition systems, License Plate Recognition systems, Biometric Access Control systems, Radio Frequency Identification systems, CCTV and integrated all these in our Gate Operating System and Terminal Operating System.

The above-cited technological infrastructure have been deployed in keeping with the national policy of implementing a fully automated paperless system for safeguarding the state revenue and ensuring national border security while enabling seamless cargo flows which will ease doing business in Ghana to ensure traceability in customs clearance processes.

MPS assures the general public that the company is a responsible corporate entity which believes in ethical operational practices for sustainable development. We would like to state that MPS has invested heavily in building and equipping this state-of-the-art Port Facility for all users as well as the resident statutory authorities. Moreover, MPS is providing for all the running costs including the cost of utilities and maintenance of the authority's buildings, inspection platforms, and equipment at the common user facility.

Even though the capital expenditure and operational expenditure which have been outlaid so far and continue to be expended by MPS require adequate revenue streams to sustain and further improve the quality of facilities and services being currently provided solely by MPS, MPS shall not compromise on its ethics by charging for services not rendered.

Terminal 3 has been developed with sustainable infrastructure fitted with superstructure and the best of the world’s technology to deliver the highest standards to the port users. The efficiency, accessibility, the short waiting time at anchorage, fast vessel turnaround time, higher port capacity and berth availability are the optimal criteria for making Terminal 3 a hub for Africa.

Moreover, it is worth noting that three months after the launching of 2 out of the 4 berths, Terminal 3 has prompted several changes in the maritime industry and has become the first-port-of-call in the region.

MPS is on course in the construction of the second phase of the Tema Port Expansion Project and we have so far outlaid the bulk of the US$ 1.5 Billion investment in the Port of Tema. So far, we have completed two (2) new berths with a draft of 16 meters and a length of 700 meters and the third new berth is set to be largely completed by December 2019 (7 months ahead of schedule).

Shipping lines are now targeting the Port of Tema as their Hub and we are confident that having invested in infrastructure, people and technology, our efficient operations will lead to a reduction in the overall cost of doing business in the Port of Tema. We have and shall continue to work with all stakeholders to make the Port of Tema a world-class port.

This year Ghana has been selected to host the headquarters of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfFCTA). The nation has a task ahead to connect our 30 million people to the 1.3 billion people (continental market consumers) and tap into the wider $3 trillion GDP of the AfFCTA.

 

With the rolling out of the AfFCTA, Ghana is able to harness this opportunity in the areas of trade & industry, job creation and will significantly open up the economy to more industries and sustainable investments. MPS’ Terminal 3 has its role cut out to provide efficient connectivity between the AfFCTA markets and Ghana’s importers and exporters.

 

Management, Meridian Port Service Limited

 

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