Ghana Revenue Authority GRA in collaboration with the Ghana Link Network Services Limited and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority GPHA have successfully conducted a simulation exercise for the new Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS).
The exercise which included the Meridian Port Services (MPS) Limited, Ghana Shippers Authority GSA, Shipping Lines, National Security, Narcotics Control Board, Food and Drugs Authority, Bank of Ghana BOG, Ghana Standard Authority, Free Zones Authority and all other stakeholders at the Port of Tema aimed at testing the ICUMS ability to aid the free flow of both import and export.
It was also to test the response time in dealing with the simulated incident when multiple government entities are involved to react immediately upon request, based on a scenario involving the grounding of a vessel due to an oil spill that could have environmental repercussions on the port’s marine wildlife.
The Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo who was part of the delegation of government officials to observe the simulation and stress test expressed his satisfaction of progress of work so far in the implementation of the project but also charged the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA to ensure that the ICUMS has a smooth take-off.
“This exercise has been very successful with the system able to accept the manifest from shipping lines, and the ability of freight forwarders to use it. I must say with what we have seen today I have no doubt that we’ll be able to take–off come implementation date. The rest of the work rests on the Customs officials who will have to stand ready for the take-off.”
The success of the simulation was seen in the readiness of the ICUMS for public use at the Sea Port of Tema and Kotoka International Airport, KIA.
After the exercise the Acting Commissioner–General of the GRA Amisshadai Owusu-Amoah, assured the Senior Minister of the Authority’s determination to ensure the project’s smooth take-off.
“Everything is going as planned and am impressed with the effort put in by the service provider and my officers. The simulation has been successful and its gives us the confidence with regards to the rollout date”
He added that when the ICUMS is fully deployed at the Tema Port which is the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the country will see an increase in revenue over time with many of the current loopholes blocked.
Part of the entourage was the Minister for Trade Alan Kyeremanteng and his Deputy Carlos Ahenkora, Deputy Minister of Finance Kwaku Kwarteng and other government officials.
Currently there have been training and registration for users of the ICUMS system which covered freight forwarders, Shipping Lines, government agencies, GRA Customs officials and all other individuals who will be using the system, with some others also currently undergoing training.
The ICUMS system is expected to be deployed at the end of the month of May at the Tema Port and the KIA.