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Paperless Port System launched in Ghana : What an Importer and Exporter should know

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The GPHA on the 1st of September, 2017 launched the paperless port transaction as directed by the Vice President of the Republic  of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu  Bawumia, earlier this year. The main aim of the Paperless system is to eliminate cash payments at the Tema and Takoradi Ports.


The Paperless Port Systems service providers, West Blue Consulting Limited and Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), indicates that the new electronic systems of clearing import goods at the Port will help reduce time spent in processing required data and also enhanced revenue mobilization by the Ghana Revenue Authority, to eliminate the corruption allegations that has bedeviled the the Customs Division of GPHA over the years.

Paperless Port Guidelines and Procedures

Are you an Importer ? Do you know how the new system works? If the answer is ‘NO’, follow the procedures and guidelines below :


  1. Trader registers his business and/ or products with Regulatory Agencies online in compliance with existing rules and regulations.
  2. Trader obtains UCR online.
  3. Trader fills and submits import declaration form (IDF) online.
    IDF fee is paid electronically via Ghana’s trading hub portal using mobile money, card (visa: Gh-Link), online banking or in-branch.
  4. Trader obtains required import Licenses, Permits, and Certificates pre-arrival of goods.
    Tariff manager determines controlling agencies based on mapped and agreed HS codes.
    Fees and charges may be paid using existing modes of payment or electronically via Ghana’s trading hub portal using mobile money, cards (visa; Gh-Link), online banking or in-branch.
  5. Airlines and shipping lines or their authorized third party representatives submit manifest electronically pre-arrival of goods in accordance with existing rules and regulations. Manifest is shared real time with GPHA and all necessary systems/agencies. Amendment process is carried out online. Manifest is reconciled with the Customs classifications and valuation reports (CCVR) declaration for anomalies. Penalties may be paid using existing modes of payment or electronically via Ghana’s Trading Hub Portal using Mobile Money, Card (Visa; MasterCard Gh-Link) Online Banking or In- Branch.
  6. Trader applies for CCVR online with electronic signature.  Licenses, Permits and Certificates of regulatory agencies is mandatory for the CCVR.
  7. Risk clearance system determines selectivity of transactions. Compliant Transactions (green) are granted automatic customs release without scanning or physical examination. Non-compliant-transactions are subjected to scanning and joint inspection if anomalies are found.
  8. Customs classifications and valuation reports (CCVR) is issued electronically and transmitted seamlessly to all relevant agencies /systems.
  9. Trader submits Bill of Entry online after transmission of CCVR. Where goods are declared for bonded warehouse, the application will be made online via the bonded warehouse module, complimented by an inventory and bond management system. Duties and Fees may be paid using existing modes of payment or electronically via Ghana’s trading hub portal using mobile money, card (visa; Gh- Link), online banking or In- branch.
  10. GRA customs releases consignment online.
  11.  Importer / agent submits a request electronically to the shipping lines for delivery of the consignment with the original electronic bill of lading. Importer presents the bail of lading to the shipping line to confirm title to goods (legally required to be paper).
  12. Shipping lines issue an invoice to the customer for payment (invoices cover freight, container deposit, demurrage and administrative charges as necessary).
  13. Agent pays invoice value.Fees and charges maybe paid using existing modes of payment or electronically via Ghana’s trading hub portal using mobile money, card (visa, Master card Gh-Link), online banking or In-Branch.
  14. After payment to shipping line account, the shipping line issues the Delivery Order to the terminal and the consignees.
  15. Importer makes a request to GPHA/Terminal/ICD to take delivery of the consignment.
  16. GPHA /Terminal/ICD assesses shipping line release status and ability to provide service by required date. GPHA/Terminal/ICD generates an invoice.
  17. Importer /agent will make payments online or in-branch. Receiving banking will send the electronic payment receipt to GPHA/Terminal/ICD.
  18. GPHA/Terminal/ICD receives the payment. For compliant transactions, the container is positioned for delivery and an SMS/email is sent to the importer /agent for pick up.

    • Goods of non-compliant transactions are scanned. If no anomalies found, the goods are released.  Otherwise, the goods are subjected to joint inspection.
    • Consignment is jointly inspected by all required agencies based on mapped HS codes, aided by   mobile devices for field officers.
    • If testing is required, testing will be conducted by a nominated testing agency based on agency agreed SLAs, on behalf of all with result shared electronically.
    • If anomalies found compliance directives are issued.
    • Consignment is seized whenever compliance directives are not adhered to.
  19. GPHA/Terminal/ICD issues a delivery allowed and an electronic notification is sent importer/ agent.
  20. GPHA /Terminal/ICD generates E-waybill, sends copy to accompany cargo and gated out at Exit Gate.
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NOTES -Movement of Cargo to ICD

  • Shipping Lines prepares and submits ICL to GPHA for approval.
  • Shipping Lines creates Cargo CMR on GICCS to platform.
  • Customs validate CMR after acceptance by ICDIN case supplementary ICL is required to be treated, the same process of submission and approval is followed as in the main.
  • Import containers are loaded on ICD trucks from MPS /Terminal 1 en-route to ICD through Western Gate.
  • Customs and GPHA Security at Western Gate confirms the status of containers being transferred on GICCS and validate same with trucks and driver ID.
  • ICD receives containers into stack and upload status on GC-Net platform.

Car Terminal

  • Ramp tallies and bar codes are generated from the quay with hand held devices.
  • VCR generated electronically.
  • E-TT generated electronically.
  • Vehicles are scanned via barcode into SCTL terminal.
  • Electronic manifest is downloaded from GICCS into SCTL system for clearance of vehicles.

Click here to download Activity Diagram


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