Senior Revenue Officer at the Customs Laboratory in Tema, Roger Nana Otoo Gardiner speaking on Eye on Port
The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has demonstrated its commitment to end illegal sample taking in a recent public notice to the trading public.
The Commissioner General of the GRA in the notice order stated that “customs examination officers are forbidden from taking samples except with sample labels from either the Customs Chemist, Chief Revenue Officer Outdoor, or Terminal heads”, which authenticates the permission to take samples during clearance procedures at the ports of Ghana.
Participating in a discourse on the Eye on Port program, a Senior Revenue Officer at the Customs Laboratory in Tema, Roger Nana Otoo Gardiner, revealed that in the goal of achieving world class levels of services, in the year 2021, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority is embarking on an enforcement control and redemption mission.
“This whole thing was initiated by the monitoring of the cameras as well as complaints from importers in addition to GPHA security,” he said.
He said one of the key agendas is to ensure illegal sample-taking by some miscreants within the Customs setup are sanctioned appropriately.
“The issue of sampling has really become a menace. There are new declarants who do not know the procedure in sample taking out of their custody into customs custody, such that, it is becoming rampant. We receive compliants from declarants as well as GPHA security,” he disclosed.
The Senior Revenue Officer at the Customs Laboratory said consignees are not obliged to comply if this document is not provided for sample taking as indicated in the notice from the Authority.
“When a customs officer approaches you, you should demand the sample label, as stated in the order notice from the Commissioner General,” he urged.
“If you do not allow taking of samples without the label, you can complain to the terminal head or the CCOD who could escalate it to the Sector Commander if need be,” he added.
He assured importers of fairness in the sample-taking activity at the ports, emphasizing on the Authority’s commitment to abide by the laws governing sample-taking.
“The schedule for sample taking gives examples to guide the quantity taken. For example, for containers of mosquito coil, six retail packs should be taken from different boxes in a container,” he cited.
Roger Gardiner also said with the Tema Port having bolstered its security with cameras, in addition to the GPHA Security, clients should be confident that officers would be compelled to be well behaved during the delivery of excellent clearance services.