Compensate importers over UNI-PASS ‘fiasco’ – Awingobit to Govt


Sampson Awingobit, President of the Exporters and Importers Association of Ghana, has asked the government to compensate importers and exporters for the losses they incurred as a result f the challenges with the UNI-PASS payment system which has generated controversy at the ports.

Mr Awingobit said the Senior Minister, Yaw Osaafo-Marfo was no well-informed before replacing the GCNET system at the ports with the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), popularly called UNI-PASS,

He said, changing of system s should been done gradually for at least three months to ensure that there isn’t problem with it.

In his view the change was rushed.

The Ghana Revenue Authority has restore GCNet systems following the challenges witnessed at the ports with the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), or UNIPASS.

UNIPASS was introduced by the government to replace the single window platform– Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS)– from GCNet and West Blue Consult, at the ports.

GRA started using the system on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, amidst challenges.

Freight Forwarders at the Tema Port were agitated because of their inability to pass declaration to get their goods out of the port following the implementation of the UNIPASS system.

The Senior Minister, is reported by the Minority in Parliament, to have written to GCNet, proposing to pay off the company with taxpayer’s cash so that they hand over operations of the Ghana National Single Window (GNSW) to Ghana Link/UNIPASS.

But speaking to the media on Wednesday April 29, Mr Awingobit said the GRA should have properly educated the government on the process of replacing such systems.

“If government think that there is something wrong and they want to put a new system in place, I strongly believe that the Commissioner General of the GRA, the Commissioner in char of customs should have advised the Senior Minister that you will need three months or more to work along with the new system,” he said.

He further asked the government to compensate importers for the cost they incurred over the issues.

“The Minister must absorb the two day demurrage and rent charges that importers would incur.

“I will want to call on the government that this is the make of the government and the government through the senior minister should absorb this demurrage rent that has cost us,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Importers and Exporters Association and the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders are locked up in a crunch meeting with government officials in Tema over the challenges encountered with the UNI-PASS payment system which has generated controversy at the ports.

The government delegation is led by Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, Deputy Finance MinisterKwaku Kwarteng, Acting Commissioner-General of GRA Amishaddai Owusu-Amoah and a representative of Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo.

The UNI-PASS team is led by Nick Danso.




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