The Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet), in partnership with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) – Customs Division, has rolled out the electronic issuance of Certificate of Origin documents to fully automate the processes in the trade facilitation space.
This new module is made available on the electronic Ministries, Departments and Agencies (eMDA) portal that is linked to the Ghana Customs Management Systems (GCMS).
The activation of the issuance or delivery of e-Certificate of Origin for all exports takes effect from October 15, 2018, with all exporters and their agents mandated to process the application of new Certificates of Origin online.
This means that exporters and their agents must initiate all new applications and printing of the Certificate of Origin through the e-MDA portal on the GCNet/GCMS system, bearing in mind that any manual issuance of the Certificate of Origin ceased from October 15, 2018.
The full roll out has become necessary, following the completion of broad stakeholder sensitisation and training sessions, organised by GCNet, in collaboration with the GNCCI and GRA, to build the capacity of users to enhance their experience of the module in the processing of necessary documentation online for exports.
Industry players in the trade facilitation space intimate that the electronic delivery of Certificates of Origin (CO) has become imperative, and this development is a huge leap in the light of a dynamic business environment, which continuously leverages technology to modernise its processes to expedite the application and issuance process, as well as improve security in order to boost business competitiveness.
The roll out of the electronic delivery of Certificate of Origin, including the issuance of electronic certificates for business registration, as well as applications for exemption, permits and approvals in the clearance chain, are among a number of paperless regimes that GCNet has championed.
These are to support the government’s programme to streamline trade facilitation processes by leveraging technology to reduce constraints, thereby fostering trade development and increasing revenue for accelerated development.
Speaking at a stakeholder capacity-building session, Mr Eben Engmann, TradeNet Manager of GCNet, expressed GCNet’s commitment to working with all stakeholders to ensure the goal of the paperless trade facilitation regime is achieved.
According to him, GCNet will continue to innovate and enhance user experience, while deploying e-solutions that directly impact on the clearance chain to boost business competitiveness, reduce cost of doing business, and increase the ease of doing business.
He commended the GNCCI and GRA for the fruitful partnership, which has resulted in the roll out of an electronic platform to facilitate the application and delivery of Certificates of Origin to deepen transparency, reduce costs, and save time for the benefit of stakeholders.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GNCCI, Mr. Mark Badu-Aboagye, was elated that the Chamber had finally computerised the process of the issuance of the documentary evidence showing the origin of goods exported from Ghana, as well as certification for a variety of other export documentation.
He stressed that the process is aligned with the International Certificate of Origin guidelines prepared by World Chambers Federation, the ICC’s specialised division for Chamber Affairs.