Mr Akwesi Serebour Boateng, Executive Member of the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana (ACHAG) has said the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) is a confused system at the port.
He said the system is creating problems for importers, a situation that is hampering revenue generation by the state.
All transactions related to the import and export of goods at the various ports have since June 2 been conducted through the one-stop service for all customs clearance procedures, dubbed ICUMS.
This follows the successful simulation and piloting of ICUMS at Tema Port, the final port to be hooked onto the system. With the exception of Tema Port, ICUMS has been operating at all entry points across Ghana for over a month now.
ICUMS is a system built by Universal Pass (UNI-PASS), specially tailored to Ghana’s situation and provides an end-to-end supply chain solution that incorporates and consolidates existing systems currently in operation.
Ghana Link Services Limited, which has a 10-year contract with the Government of Ghana as a technical partner, contracted CUPIA of Korea to deploy its electronic customs management system, called Universal Pass (UNI-PASS) which is now known as the Integrated Customs Management System ICUMS, for Ghana’s trade facilitation.
But speaking on the Business Focus programme hosted by Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Monday June 8, Mr Serebuor Boateng said : “ This is the worst transition I have seen in my life tome at the port.
“When somebody says ICUMS is a system I doubt, it is not a system. It is a confused thing. When you have a problem and you go to the custom officer that this is my problem he will tell you to go and do A, B, C but it won’t work.
“You come the next day to see another officer and that one also doesn’t work and then finally you must go and do it manually.”
“[Now] you moved to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), where any time you have a problem you pick your phone and call a call centre within five minutes the thing is resolved.
“Now ordinary manifest match – that is when the vessel comes and the manifest is sent, when you send the declaration the system is expected to match it. ICUMS is doing it manually so where is the system then? The system is that when you send the two it must match and cancel each other. Now a human being must do it so there is no system called ICUMS. It is just somebody’s imagination of something he wants to do at the port.
“Otherwise when you say a system, you move from one to two to three to four but they don’t have it.
“And so the whole thing is confused.”
Meanwhile the Public Relations Officer of Ghana Link, Norvan Acquah Hayford, assured that the challenges with the system will be addressed.
“With a very new system there are challenges the GRA officials and Ghana Link are working to ensure that these challenges we are having are dealt with,” he said on the same show.