- GH¢490m earned in 17 days
- GH¢1bn projected for June
The Ghana Revenue Authority has said the state has lost no revenue since the introduction of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), but rather, the authority has had its revenue projections on target even with the teething problems that greeted the start of the system on June 1, 2020.
According to the Commissioner General of the GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, the first 17 days of operations raked some GH¢490 million and the Authority is projecting a billion Ghana cedis revenue by the end of the month.
Speaking at a press conference to outline measure being taken to address challenges that has confronted the system, Mr. Owusu-Amoah said: “on the average a total revenue of GH¢942million is collected monthly from the country’s entry points. With the deployment of ICUMS the Customs Division has been able to collect from 1st to 17th June a total of GH¢490 million. Looking at this trend, it is obvious that the authority will not be losing revenue as being highlighted by some sections of society.”
He added that, on the part of the GRA, efforts have been put in place to address all the challenges that are being recorded to ensure the efficiency of the system. “Some issues that were identified after the deployment of the ICUMS are: Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) not populating at the front-end of declarant but as we speak TINs have been populated on ICUMS for easy retrieval,” he said.
Also, on co-loading and manifest matching, the GRA boss said these issues have been resolved, pointing out that alternative arrangements have been made for all importers who still have challenges with manifest matching.
Additional training for importers and staff of the GRA and change management issues, he said, for other stakeholders have been ongoing since November, 2019. “We assure all stakeholders that training is still ongoing, especially in collaboration with the Freight Forwarders Associations to ensure their buy-in is achieved.”
On the challenges of Customs Bill of Entry (BOE), the Commissioner General said: “In all about 53,000 BOEs have been processed nationwide in ICUMS. Of these, in Tema 16,000 have been submitted, over 12,000 relates to pre-manifest processes. The current average is 1,500 BOEs a day which compares favorably with what was being processed in the previous system.
Out of the total Tema BOEs, about 11,000 have been successfully processed. About 5,000 of the BOEs are at various stages of processing at Customs Technical Services Bureau (CTSB) and only 4000 BOEs delayed for reasons such as unanswered queries by declarants for the necessary supporting documents, manifest mismatch and to effect corrections.”
In addition to the above, the GRA has also set up a call center to receive and address all challenges faced by stakeholders. “We have established a call centres and support service desks both at the Tema Long Room and at the Customs Technical Services Bureau (CTSB). These centres deal with complaints of declarations for speedy resolution. Additionally, a toll free number 0800-900-113 has been established to address the concerns of the trading public.”
He asked the freight forwarders to be rest assured that issues of demurrage are being looked at. “We are engaging with relevant stakeholders together with Ministry of Trade & Industry to see what can be done for cases related to initial challenges in the system. It is important to emphasis that ICUMS is a fully integrated port community, single window and e-clearance system.
All shipping lines/ agents terminal operations, container freight stations, licensed customs house agents, freight forwarders, bounded warehouses/free zones operators and other port community players have been registered on the system.
We have enrolled in excess of 6,000 port community users and all processes are fully automated. These numbers paint a very optimistic picture which speaks for itself. I wish to use this opportunity to assure the trading public that these are teething challenges which are associated with the introduction of every new system.
We will ensure that all challenges will be dealt with as they arise. I have full confidence that all staff of the Customs Division will rise up to the challenge to make ICUMS a success story and rake in the needed revenue for national development and we look forward to continue engaging all our stakeholders for a successful implementation of the ICUMS,” he ended.