Ghana Link Network Services Limited, operator of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at the country’s ports, says it is currently in talks with port stakeholders towards the deployment of the second phase of its end-to-end single window platform.
New features to be introduced to the next phase of the ICUMS include the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) which will enable Customs to assess passenger traffic and risks at the airport.
The updated ICUMS also makes room for post-clearance audit, where an importer is able to move his/her goods out of the port to be tracked later by Customs for all applicable duties and taxes using the documentation provided by the shipper.
It will also ensure efficient management of the state warehouse as well as digitise the auction of goods at the ports.
“We are always engaging our fellow stakeholders, including the airlines, because their inputs are needed. We are operating a very standard system, and we are soliciting the necessary inputs to ensure that people are satisfied with it,” Clyde Panyin Adjei, Deputy Managing Director of the company, said at a training session for port journalists in Accra.
The first phase of the ICUMS has seen a significant increase in revenue generation at Ghana’s ports since its take-off in June 2020, as the generation of a tax bill number for all Customs penalties, service charges, taxes and duties has drastically reduced leakages.
ICUMS’ external price verification tool, which verifies the true value of all consignments directly from the supplier, also enables Customs to ascertain accurate taxes and duties, aside from facilitating proper bond management for suspense regimes.
According to Mr. Adjei, the introduction of ICUMS at the nation’s ports has been a success so far in terms of trade facilitation and revenue mobilisation for the government.
“Our performance, even in the midst of crisis, was very high compared to what Ghana has witnessed before, and we expect Ghana to be the light of Africa when it comes to trade,” he said.
He added: “We have brought a lot of transformation, satisfying our clients, for them to know that we are Ghanaians; also, we have to ensure that we provide the best for Ghana, because if Ghana does well, we also do well.”
The one-day training programme for members of the Port Journalists Network (PJN) was to get the media to accurately report on the operations of the ICUMS and to deepen their understanding of the processes, modules and related activities of the end-to-end system.
Mr. Adjei said misinformation about the ICUMS led to “a pushback from our stakeholders, but with hard work and the various interventions that have been rolled out, we were successful in getting them to come on board.”
“We have decided to enhance your capacity to fully appreciate and embrace the system [ICUMS] to help in effective and responsible reporting about it to the public. Today’s exercise [training] will be the beginning of our relationship of mutual benefit, which will lead to the media supporting Ghana Link to communicate our work to the public and help us receive feedback,” he indicated.
PJN’s Team Lead, Elvis Darko, commended the management of Ghana Link for building the capacity of journalists about their operations and urged participants to give the right attention to the port sector.
“This training will help port journalists to better understand the operations of Ghana Link and help them report accurately on them. PJN is committed to promoting the growth and concerns of various stakeholders in Ghana’s maritime, trade and logistics value chain,” he said.