ope体育电竞The Ghana Revenue Authority says it is in talks with GCNet to restore its systems following the challenges witnessed at the ports with the newly Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), popularly called UNIPASS.
UNIPASS was introduced by the government to replace the single window platform– Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS)– from GCNet and West Blue Consult, at the ports.
GRA started using the system on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, amidst challenges.
Freight Forwarders at the Tema Port were agitated because of their inability to pass declaration to get their goods out of the port following the implementation of the UNIPASS system yesterday.
In a notice sighted by Citi News,ope体育电竞 the GRA says talks are far advanced to get GCnet back to work today, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, while the challenges with UNIPASS are fixed.
ope体育电竞“It has come to the notice of the Management of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) that Customs House Agents/declarants are facing some challenges processing their Customs documents on the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS). Management of GRA as part of efforts resolve these challenges is having consultations with the management of GCNet for the restoration of the GCNet GCMS services.”
“The discussions are almost concluded and Management is hopeful that the GCNet GCMS will be operational by Wednesday, 29 April 2020,” GRA added in the notice.
The UNIPASS/ICUMS system
The UNIPASS/ICUMS platform is a new port clearing system that processes documents and payments through one window: a departure from the previous system where valuation and classification and risk management and payment were handled by different entities.
CUPIA Korea, which is assisting the Customs Division to implement the UNIPASS system, has described it as an system for trade facilitation.
ope体育电竞The company which is expected to address key challenges at the ports also replaces the existing service providers, the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), which has operated for nearly 17 years, and West Blue Consulting.
Rejection of UNIPASS
ope体育电竞Following the introduction of the system, there has been strong opposition from various stakeholders within the logistics space and other civil society organisations on the need to stick with the existing single window in order not to severely disrupt trade and revenue flows.
Policy think-tank, IMANI Africa, earlier this month petitioned governmentope体育电竞 to temporarily suspend the operations of UNI-PASS and allow GCNET and West Blue to operate for the remainder of the year to rake in revenue in excess of GHS10 billion for the country considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade activities.
Also, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders of system hours to the officially outdooring of the system at the country’s ports.
Critics of the UNIPASS have also cited the presumed distortions ope体育电竞that the new system will bring to the shipping community; a claim rejected by the managers of the platform.
Issues with UNIPASS system could cause revenue losses – Institute of Freight Forwarders
The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders is predicting revenue lossesope体育电竞 if the concerns raised by stakeholders on the inefficiencies of the UNIPASS system are not addressed.
ope体育电竞The President of the Institute, Edward Akrong, warns that the delays associated with the piloting of the system at the Takoradi Port could cause serious problems at the Tema port if not checked before implementation.
“If these delays continue and all these issues are not resolved, it will have serious effects on revenue collection. It is what it is. Things will have to be done right. It is a very simple matter. Once things are done with speed, revenue comes in and things will flow,” he said.