By Morkporkpor Anku, GNA
Accra, Jan. 31, GNA – Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the
Minister of Finance, on Friday said government will continue to improve
measures to protect its people from terrorist activities, organized
transnational criminal activities and human trafficking.
He said government had invested resources in
Customs to enhance their capacity to combat drug trafficking and drugs
consumption (with its attendant health hazards) as well as the international
trade in narcotics and money laundering.
Mr Ofori-Atta speaking in a speech read on
his behalf to mark the “International Customs Day 2020” said the role of
Customs worldwide has always been the same: to develop measures and adopt
procedures and processes to promote and facilitate trade in goods and services
in the international supply chain.
The international Customs Day was on the
theme “Customs, Fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the
He said government aimed at reducing the
time and costs of clearing and taking delivering of imported consignments of
He said these interventions for the safety
and good of the people, were possible because of the legal framework provided
“We will continue to regularly review our
work in this area to update the regulatory provisions, with the view to
securing and protecting the people and society,” he added.
He said to ensure prosperity and
socio-economic development, government policy directives were all aimed at
promoting and facilitating international trade.
He assured the international community, the
Customs fraternity and stakeholders of Customs activities that the government
was committed to policies and programmes to equip the Customs Division of the
Ghana Revenue Authority to promote and facilitate international trade.
He said by the provision of an appropriate
legislative framework by the government for Customs administration and
operations, Ghana Customs has been able to introduce innovative procedures and
processes while adopting international best practices in the clearing and
processing of goods at Ghanaian ports.
He assured personnel of government
continuous support Customs to perform at top-gear, in the interest of both
Ghana and the international community.
“Our objective is to continue working
together with the international partners for the ultimate attainment of the
United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the World Customs
Organisation Secretary General throughout 2020, under the slogan “Customs
fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet,” the Customs
community would focus on the contribution of Customs towards a sustainable
future where social, economic, health and environmental needs were at the heart
of its actions.
He said with only 10 years left to achieve
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and given the direct links between
Customs’ strategic mission and several of the SDGs, it was important for Customs
to meet all the environmental, economic, health and social challenges, while
scaling up its ongoing efforts to respond effectively in a more proactive
He said serving the People by building safe
and secure societies, Customs plays a critical role in implementing regulations
addressing the major social and economic challenges facing societies across the
He said they do this by promoting innovation
through the protection of intellectual property rights and preventing
sub-standard or counterfeit goods and products that infringe regulations from
entering local markets.
He said by streamlining its operations,
Customs could reduce the time and cost of moving goods across borders and
stimulate trade activities, thus increasing income and employment, as well as
promoting national and foreign investment.
“By taking strong action against commercial
fraud and tax evasion, Customs also ensures that national governments are not
deprived of critical revenues necessary to fund public infrastructure and
services,” he added.
He said thus, Customs’ practices and methods
should be aligned with the World Customs Organisation’s tools and instruments,
which have been incorporated into several packages.
The packages include the Revenue Package,
the Economic Competitiveness Package, the Compliance and Enforcement Package,
and the Organizational Development Package.
Dr Mikuriya said as in previous years, he
was convinced that Customs administrations and the wider Customs community
would rise to the occasion, fully committed to actively promoting their efforts
and activities aimed at fostering “Sustainability for People, Prosperity and
Mr Ammishaddi Owusu-Amoah, the Commissioner
General, GRA said the Customs Division was looking at the enlargement of the
digital Customs, where more emphasis would be placed on the use of technologies
and the standards on Customs border e-commerce to leverage e-commerce
opportunities in an inclusive manner.
He said all these were aimed at
sustainability for people, prosperity and the planet, adding that fortunately,
much of the elements they need were inherent in the SDGs and were echoes of
what were required for the Millennium Development Goals.
He said the Customs Division had been a
pillar in ensuring that the sub-standard and pirated products were not consumed
by the people not forgetting the safety and security role they play in
protecting the country from organised criminal activities, terrorist and human