Following delays in cargo clearance at the Port of Tema as a result of the new Integrated Customs Management System and the shutting down of the GCNet and West Blue’s systems at ports, the leadership of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade took to the Tema port to assess the severity of the issue and come up with solutions that would mitigate the current challenges.
The delegation comprised, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, the Commissioner General of GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, the Commissioner of Customs, Rtd Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, officials from the office of the Senior Minister and some officials of Ghana Link Services.
The entourage first met with the management of the Meridian Port Services, then it was followed by a meeting with the shipping lines. The delegation then moved to meet with the leadership of the various freight forwarding companies and then finally met with the Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and his senior management staff.
The Minister of Trade, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng who led the discussions assured the stakeholder community of government’s support to improving trade facilitation and revenue generation through the sea trade.
The delegation discussed existing challenges associated with the new Customs Management System and the Port clearance chain in general.
The leadership and management of the various agencies expressed gratitude to the Minister of Trade for offering a listening ear to issues bothering the port industry.
On Tuesday, 28th May 2020, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), commenced the deployment of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at all frontier stations and ports of entry in Ghana.
This was in line with the implementation plan for the eventual roll-out of ICUMS nationwide after the deployment of the second phase, which commenced at the Takoradi Port on April 1, 2020. However, the new system was fraught with challenges rendering inability of port users to undertake usual clearance processes for about two (2) working days.