The Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), the single window platform at Ghana’s ports, has met its intended revenue and trade facilitation target for government, Clyde Adjei – Deputy Managing Director of Ghana Link Network Services Limited, operator of the platform – has said.
ICUMS, for the period between June 2020 and April 2021, generated a total of GH¢18.1billion in revenue to government nearly a year after it became fully operational at the country’s land and sea borders.
He noted that the system has brought a lot of transformation at the ports, by putting in place standardised systems for its stakeholders and enhancing security measures which have minimised incidents of smuggling.
“In terms of the ICUMS target, you can attest to it that we are doing well. Our performance, even in amid the crisis, was very high compared to what Ghana has previously witnessed. We expect that Ghana is going to be the light of Africa when it comes to trade,” Mr. Adjei said during a media interaction at a training programme organised for members of the Port Journalist Network (PJN) in Accra.
The Ghana Link DMD recalled that the implementation of ICUMS attracted mixed reactions from stakeholders, largely due to misinformation and lack of understanding of the yet-to-be-rolled-out system.
“Even though the misinformation led to a push-back from our stakeholders, especially the freight forwarding community, with hard work and the various interventions rolled out we were successful in getting all stakeholders on board. One year on, I am sure you have heard the testimonies concerning ICUMS’ performance and the role it has played to help ramp up revenue for government.
“We owe our success to our team here at Ghana Link with our technical partners Customs Uni-Pass International Agency (CUPIA) of Korea, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and, most importantly, the freight forwarding community and the media.”
Rolling out ICUMS phase-two
Mr. Adjei further disclosed that Ghana Link is preparing to roll out the single window platform’s second phase at the country’s port in 2022, after approval from the GRA.
Some of the new modules to be introduced under the second phase include Authorised Economic Operators, Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS), Post Clearance Audit (PCA), E-Wallet, Simplified Clearance/Postal Investigations, and Customs Laboratory Activities.
“Very soon, you will hear about the complete roll-out of the second phase,” – adding that stakeholders are expectant of significant increments in revenue generation when it happens.
According to the Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Link, GRA and its technical partner, the CUPIA of Korea Customs, continue to work assiduously on ensuring a seamless introduction.
Training Port Journalist Network
The training was to enlighten members of PJN on the scope and operational processes of ICUMS. Training modules were in the areas of E-Tracking, Scanning, Information Technology and others.
Team Lead of PJN, Elvis Darko, said that the economy revolves around trade, which is anchored on ports and maritime operations. He added that the ports remain the single largest revenue generator for the country, and therefore deserve all the needed attention.
Mr. Darko stressed the need for the media to make issues relating to the ports and maritime sector topical, to help address challenges facing the industry and propel economic growth. He expressed optimism that the capacity training for members of PJN will improve their reportage.