The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has received two units of custom-built mobile laboratory vans to ensure a more secure flow of good and increase the country’s revenue from international trade.
The mobile vans have been procured with funding from the Kingdom of Netherlands under the GIZ-implemented Good Financial Governance (GFG) programme in Ghana.
With the deployment of the laboratories, traders will now have faster clearance, owing to a more secure and quicker customs scientific examination processes.
The deployment of mobile laboratories will help the GRA improve the response time for goods that arrive through the out-stations. It will also be a great tool for combating smuggling, environmental control and consumer protection through its capacity for monitoring and surveillance of radioactive and nuclear material.
Upon the request or directive of the customs scientific officer-in-charge, a mobile laboratory will immediately be deployed to a particular station, terminal, or checkpoint.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner-General of GRA, Mr Kofi Nti, stated the laboratory units have come at an opportune time when GRA is going paperless on ports transactions.
The units, he says, will greatly complement the system, as well as enhance business operations of GRA as it has the ability to detect and identify items present in cargo for imports or exports by using modern technologies, thus combating smuggling activities.
According to him, the role of customs has evolved overtime with changes in the international trade environment, and the emergence of modern developments have made it imperative for the GRA to upgrade its customs laboratories with the latest innovations in technology and working methods by the acquisition of mobile laboratories and portable devices.
He assured the GRA, and for that matter the Customs Division, will take good care of the laboratories through a good maintenance programme.
A custom laboratory is a room or building equipped with scientific instruments for performing analysis on goods traded across borders to determine their chemical composition for the purpose of applying duty rates and for the detection and prevention of illegal imports and exports.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Striker, in a keynote address, mentioned that with the deployment of the vans, Ghana stands to benefit from more secure flow of goods and revenue trades.
He said the introduction of the laboratories fits well into the Ghana government’s policy to make Ghana one of the most peaceful and friendly countries in Africa.
“It also fits well in Ghana government’s policy to mobilise more revenue and combat corruption,” he said.
Source: John Elliot HAGAN || The Finder