Freight Forwarding operators in Ghana’s ports have given government a 24-hour ultimatum to reverse its decision and restore the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) and West Blue Consulting operating systems back on stream.
According to them, the shutting down of both systems at a ago, as a result of the nationwide deployment of Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) also known as UNIPASS, has rather worsened their plight as they could not do declarations.
Speaking in an interview with the B&FT, Chairman of Concern Freight Forwarders, Oheneba Kwasi Afariwuah advised authorities to rather collaborate with GCNet and West Blue to operate ICUMS within a time frame in order to identify challenges and solutions before allowing the two systems to leave the port.
“We advise authorities that they should run the pilot alongside GCNet and West Blue so that within a space of one month they would be able to identify the problem we may encounter,” Mr. Afariwuah said.
According to him, most stakeholders are sitting idle in their various offices because of network unavailability.
“As a matter of fact, I am just coming from MPS and all officials are sitting down, freight forwarders are sitting down, because nothing is happening. They do not have access to network to operate, even Customs officers, and my members from Elubo cannot operate due to the shutdown of the two systems.”
He called on authorities to engage Westblue and GCNet to bring back their system because their contracts have not expired.
Meanwhile, President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Edward Akrong has lamented that the situation has impacted negatively on customs revenue as most freight forwarders were not able to pay duties. “While no declaration is done, no duty is being paid and the government lost lots of revenue,” he emphasized.