The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has said the commencement and deployment of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at all frontier stations and ports of entry in Ghana take effect from today, Tuesday April 28, 2020.
This is 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.
A notice sent to Customs House Agents and Self-Declarants signed by the Acting Commissioner-General, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, explained that phase one of the project started on March 1, at selectedCustoms Frontier stations. “The third phase involving Kotoka International Airport and Tema started from April 20, 2020 Jamestown and the petroleum sector will complement the entire ICUMS roll-out.”
He said, all Customs House Agents/Declarants operating in Customs offices are entreated to process all Bill of Entry’s (BOEs) in ICUMS.
According to him, measures that will be applied are “all existing declarations being processed in Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) for which payment of taxes have not been effected by close of banking day April 27, 2020 will be required to be re-processed in the ICUMS as a new BOE from 28th April 2020.
“All declarations for permits and e-MDA approvals obtained before April 28, 2020 as well as penalties payable before and after 28th, or goods and vehicles that have overstayed or been confiscated, and temporary importsof vehicles and goods not closed thereon, shall be re-processed after the 28th of April 2020 in the ICUMS,” he added.
Also, he said: “Declarations for which payments have been made but not been cleared before April 28, 2020 shall continue to be processed in the GCNet/GCMS system until May 15, 2020. Direct entry into WarehousingFree zones and other suspense regimes shall be processed in the ICUMS with effect from April 28, 2020.”
Mr. Owusu-Ansah explained that existing ex-warehousing, free zones and other suspense regimes declarations shall continue to be processed in the GCNet/GCMS system until the cut of period of May 15, 2020.
He directed that any un-resolved challenges regarding the implementation of these transitional measures should be communicated to the respective Sector Commanders and Station Heads for further action.
Benefit of this system
The system provides a one-stop service for all Customs clearance procedures and integrates all government agencies, associated with trade and passenger processing, enabling sharing of information between regulatory agencies.
Also, customs and other stakeholders (such as private organisations mandated by the government to handle requirement verification tasks not just for regulatory permits but also for statistics and information used for data analysis and decision making purposes.
In addition, it covers entities such as trading companies, Customs brokers, shipping companies, airlines, delivery companies, and warehouses. The time taken to process import clearances has been reduced from more than two days to a few hours among others.