The Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) has increased revenue collection at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Assistant Commissioner TD Williams, Sector Commander of Customs at the KIA, has said.
According to him, despite the challenges with the initial utilization of the system and the impact of COVID-19 on trading activities, the KIA was able to generate Ghȼ53.6 million in June and Ghȼ71.6 million in July which represents a 15.2 percent and 22.6 percent respective increase over last year’s revenue collection for the two months.
He told the B&FT that the introduction of ICUMS called for specialization of duties by the revenue collectors. “The ideal customs officer is able to do what we call valuations and classification of items at the same time. So, one officer could be seated and doing both at a go or together.
But ICUMS asked us to specialize, so we had to ensure that we pair two officers, one doing valuation and the other classification. When we started this, we realized that it increased the volume of work on our officers. From this we were able to improve on delivery in terms of volume because at a go we could quickly clear so much.
The importers were very impressed and we had many importers passing through the KIA to clear their goods leading to our revenues going up,” Assistant Commissioner TD Williams said at a stakeholders meeting organized to assess the newly introduced ICUMS and get feedback on measures needed to improve its usage in the bid to rake in more revenue for the state.
Richard Ackah, Chairman of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders at the KIA said the meeting offered stakeholders the opportunity to identify pertinent system and human challenges from which amicable solutions are developed to satisfy all parties.
To him, such engagements are in the best interest of the economy as it will lead to smooth and quick clearance of goods.
Asked about his assessment of ICUMS, Mr. Ackah said: “so far, so good. In the early days, there was a bit of a challenge when we realized that there was going to be a change but we focused on what is to come and what we want to do. We have faced whatever challenge and so far so good.”
Norvan Acquah Hayford, Public Relations Officer of Ghana Link, system managers of ICUMS, told the paper that more of these engagements bring out issues that may not be directly linked to the system but is related to some of the agencies that need to support the freight forwarders in their operations.
“Today you heard from the freight forwarders that there are some permit challenges they face with Environmental Protection Agency and the Ghana Standards Authority, all these are agencies on the system so if issues like these pop up during the stakeholders meeting we draw the attention of the agency to ensure it is fixed as soon as possible, he said.”