‘ICUMS rakes in over GH₵177m at Tema port in a week’

The new Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) says it has raked in ‎GH₵177.3million in revenue at the Tema Port one week of going live.

This amount was generated from successful processing of 4,793 Bills of Entry (BoE) from custom house agents and freight forwarders.

A statement issued by the company in Accra yesterday said “It must be noted that this is not the total revenue generated at Tema Port last week. This is because a large chunk of BoE for goods cleared last week had been processed through the systems of the outgone service providers and the revenues declared through that system.”

The statement said “Customs expects to complete processing of all BoE declared through the previous systems in the next two weeks. It is at this point that the full revenue generated at Tema Port will reflect in ICUMS.”

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and its technical partner, Ghana Link Network Services Limited, deployed ICUMS for trade facilitation in Ghana.

On Monday, June 1, 2020, the day ICUMS fully took over at Tema Port, it processed 400 Bills of Entry (BOE).

This was achieved despite teething challenges, including some importers, freight forwarders and clearing agents having knowledge gap even after training.

Assistant Commissioner of Customs and the Sector Commander of Accra Collection, Emmanuel Ohene the statement said expressed gratitude to GRA officials, Ghana Link staff, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Meridian Ports Services (MPS), ICDs Shipping Lines, Customs House Agents, freight forwarders and the MMDAs for the commitment shown to see the ICUMS project go live at the Tema Port.

“Indeed, we are happy to see the declarants successfully create their Bills of Entry (BOE) since Monday, June 1, 2020, when the ICUMS went live.

“Even though there might be some few challenges, this is normal with new systems being deployed anywhere in the world. But I can assure you that we stand ready to deal with such issues in the trade facilitation value chain,” he said.

Mr Ohene, who is also the chairman of the implementation team of ICUMS, appealed to stakeholders and the trading public to abandon their reluctant attitude towards the change in the systems in order to fully appreciate the benefits of the ICUMS, which would achieve the government’s single window and one end-to-end customs management system goals.

He indicated that at the Tema Port, most officers detailed to work on valuation of declarations filed through the ICUMS have been trained.

All stakeholders, including freight forwarders and importers, have also been trained, and training is still ongoing, adding that training is not an event, but a continuous process which they will continue to do for the freight forwarders and all other stakeholders even after full rollout.

Vice-chairman and technical committee head of the Tema branch of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Johnny Mante expressed joy at the approach adoptedby Ghana Link and GRA.

He said they did not expect the system to be perfect overnight, but they were hopeful operators would continue to engage and train clearing house agents and importers.

ICUMS, which has been operational at the Takoradi Port since April 1, 2020, according to the statement had recorded some 4,481BoE on the new clearance platform.

“The BoE are said to have been recorded between rollout datesof April 1 and June 5, 2020 on ICUMS platform. The Takoradi port, which handles about 35 per cent of the country’s seaborne traffic, is Ghana’s second-biggest port,” the statement.

To enhance clearing process at the Port of Tema, GRA/Ghana Link, the lead project managers of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), had outlined proposals for the release of cargo for the Bills of Entry processed in the old system, the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS).

The proposal, which is in two parts, makes provisions for Meridian Port Services (MPS) and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), and all other terminals, including Inland Container Depots (ICDs).

BY TIMES REPORTER

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