Transactions related to the import and export of goods at the Tema port through the one-stop service for all customs clearance procedures, dubbed Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) begun yesterday
However, some importers and clearing agents could not clear their goods at the Tema port because they could not process their documents through the supposedly new superior UNIPASS system.
Some clearing agents too who had paid their import duty before West Blue and GCNet shutdown could not also clear their goods and were asked to go and start the whole clearing process afresh from the long room.
This and many other challenges faced at the port caused the hundreds of clearing agents and importers gathered to protest at the Tema port.
Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremanteng and his deputy Carlos Ahenkorah as well as the Customs Commissioner, Col. Damoah were there to calm the situation.
It shall be recalled the Acting Commissioner General of GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah in a recent letter directed West Blue and GCNET to shut down their systems to pave way for UNIPASS/ICUMS from Monday July 1, 2020, adding that all transactions without exception in respect of import/export shall only be processed from ICUMS.
In view of the directive the West Blue and GCNet yesterday shut down their systems at the Tema Port to give way for UNIPASS/ICUMS to takeover single window operations at the port.
Government had to call back GCNet and West Blue systems to allow speedy clearance of goods at the port.
The angry looking clearing agents called for the immediate suspension of ICUMS and return of West Blue and GCNeT
Meanwhile officials of Ghana Link Network Services Limited when contacted disputed the facts and said the ICUMS was working and had already done almost 150 declarations which many are for import of crude which went to TOR.
They also pointed to companies having successfully gone through the process and paid for their duties and goods released at the Tema Port.
While they admit to some clearing agents having some challenges in the process, Ghana Link told the B&FT that many of the challenges were not related to the new system the ICUMS.
They therefore called for calm among the freight forwarders and asked to adhere to the flow chart which has been published and circulated among them and asked to contact the Help desk at the long room and the GHIFF office or call the support centre on 0302750140 if they need any help.