Ghana Link Network Services Limited’s (GLNS) commitment to streamline trade facilitation processes at the country’s ports with the deployment of its Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), an end-to-end Customs valuation system, has been recognized by the World Customs Organization and Ghana Customs.
At an event organised by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA Customs) to mark the 2022 World Customs Organisation (WCO) Day in Accra, a WCO Certificate of Merit was presented to Ghana Link, some personnel of Customs and other stakeholders who have contributed positively to the work of the authority.
In a special citation, GRA Customs thanked the services provider for the deployment of one of the best trade facilitation tools to help in the trade processes in Ghana.
“This is presented to you for creating an innovative, engaging and inspiring Customs and trade facilitation platform for Ghana’s international trade process, by providing an end-to-end and a robust single window for Ghana’s trade/cargo clearance ecosystem, ” the citation signed by the Commissioner of Customs Col. Kwadwo Damoah (RTD) said.
Customs in its citation further stated that “your role and responsibilities in the deployment of the ICUMS as a tool for trade facilitation and revenue maximation will forever remain etched in gold”.
Mr. Raymond Amaglo the Director of Operations at Ghana Link who together with the Director of HR Madam Cynthia Ahinkurah received the citation and WCO certificate of appreciation, thanked Customs for the recognition.
Commenting on the recognition, Mr. Amaglo said it was heartwarming receiving such an award from the very institution for whom the system belongs.
“We dedicate this award to all the stakeholders who have in no small way contributed to this feat being chalked across board since the roll of this end-to-end e-Customs management and trade facilitation system across the country,” he added.
According to him Ghana Link will not rest on their oars but continue to work even harder to ensure the gains made are not only sustained but progressively improved upon.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, whose speech was read on his behalf, charged the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to put in more efforts to increase revenue at the ports to bolster government’s quest to significantly improve Ghana’s tax to GDP, from 13percent to 20percent by 2024.
“Notwithstanding the successes chalked, I am confident that there is more that GRA and Customs Division in particular can do to further enhance its level of efficiency, whiles reducing revenue leakages at the ports to its barest minimum. Towards these efforts, the ministry believes that it will add on significantly in improving Ghana’s tax to GDP ratio from the current 13% to 20% by 2024”.
He assured the Customs Division of government’s upmost support to achieve its goals.
Col Kwadwo Damoah (Rtd), the Commissioner, Customs Division of GRA, who also read the speech of the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, said over the years, digital technology had evolved rapidly, and Customs could now tap into data from other government agencies, commercially available databases, and open-source information platforms such as digitized global public records and multilingual news sources.
He said the extent to which data could be used effectively depended on various factors surrounding data ethics, including privacy, commercial secrecy, and legal issues regarding the use of data by customs and tax administrations and the importance assigned to innovation in public administrations.
Dr Mikuriya said to build data ecosystems or consolidate existing ones, the following enabling actions such as establishing formal data governance to ensure the relevance, accuracy, and timeliness of data and making use of the standards developed by the WCO and other institutions regarding data format and data exchange.
The International Customs Day celebration was under the theme “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem.”
The International Customs Day Celebration, is observed worldwide by the Customs community on 26th January every year.
In Ghana, the august occasion saw dignitaries from government, former personnel of the Customs Division of the GRA and stakeholders in attendance.