FDA, GSA tasked to inspect goods at ports

The government is taking steps to address the duplication of functions by some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) which are adversely impeding the ease of doing business at the ports and the country as a whole.

Consequently, it has reduced the numerous health agencies to two institutions  which are the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) to undertake examination of goods related to health as part of the mandatory joint  examination of goods by concerned agencies.

A Deputy Minister of  Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ workshop by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) in Accra.

The workshop was also organised for the chamber to share the findings of its new study on challenges associated with doing business at the country’s ports titled: ‘Situational Analyses of Tema and Takoradi Seaports and Kotoka International Airport.’

The study was aimed at evaluating  operational challenges and bottlenecks which are associated with doing business at the ports.

The study, among other things, also the identified duplication of functions by some MDAs as one of the main challenges impeding the ease of doing business at the ports.

Mr Ahenkorah indicated that as part of the paperless initiative the government would address the duplication of functions by the various state agencies to bring efficiency at the ports.

“Clearance of goods at the port stands on two legs-revenue and health. The revenue agency has encompassed all the revenue collectors at the port under one agency called customs. But when you come to the health sector all of them are stationed at the ports and individually wants to examine every consignment before it leaves the ports and these are the things that cause delays,” he said.

The deputy minister stated that it was for this reason that the government had decided to reduce activities of the over 16 agencies at the ports