The second phase of the end–to-end single window platform at the country’s port is likely to be rolled out next year after the Ghana Revenue Authority has approved it to Ghana Link Network Services, operators of Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS).
ICUMS for the period between June 2020 to April 2021, has generated a total of GHS 18.1 billion in revenue to the government nearly a year after its full-out at the country’s land and sea boarders of which stakeholders are expectant of significant increment in revenue generation after the roll-out of the second phase of the single window platform.
Speaking to members of the Port Journalist Network (PJN) on the side lines of a day workshop organized by Ghana Link, Deputy Managing Director of the company, Clyde Adjei said “we are ready, the second phase of the ICUMS is ready but it’s the place of GRA to announce when the phase 2 is to be rolled out and so at the appropriate time the GRA will come out and let the public know about it. So very soon you will hear about the complete roll out of the second phase, he added”.
Some of the new modules that will be introduced under the second phase include; Authorized Economic Operators, Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS), Post Clearance Audit (PCA), E-Wallet, Simplified Clearance/Postal Investigations and Customs Laboratory Activities.
According to the operators of the platform, GRA, Ghana Link and its technical partner, CUPIA of Korea Customs continue to work behind the scenes to ensure that they deploy the various modules under the second phase of the ICUMS seamlessly as they complete works on the second phase.
The workshop was to deepen the knowledge of members of PJN about the processes, modules, and various activities that make the ICUMS an end-to-end system and also enhance the capacity of members.
According to Mr. Adjei “as we are all aware, the implementation of ICUMS attracted mixed reactions from some of our stakeholders which featured prominently in the media. This was mainly due to misinformation and lack of understanding of the yet to be rolled out ICUMS at the time”.
“One year on, am sure you the media here today, have heard of the testimonies concerning ICUMS performance and the role it had played to help ramp up revenue for the government. Even though we have been successful with the role out of the first phase, we continue to offer training to all stakeholders, as we prepare to roll out phase two of the project,” he indicated.
“It is against this background that we have decided to enhance your capacity to fully appreciate and embrace the system to help in effective and responsible reporting about the ICUMS to the public,” Mr. Adjei stressed.
Team Lead of PJN, Mr. Elvis Darko noted that the economy revolves around trade which is anchored on ports and maritime operations and that the ports remain the single largest revenue generator for the country, therefore deserves all the needed attention.
According to him, out of the GHS 63 billion total revenue for 2020, GRA collected GHS45 billion, indicating that Customs alone collected GHS12 billion of the total revenue of GHS63 billion.
He therefore stressed the need for the media to make issues of the ports and maritime sectors topical to help address the challenges facing the industry to propel economic growth.