Managers of the new Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS), Ghana Link Network Services Limited, has appealed to freight forwarders and clearing agents to be patient as they try to resolve challenges with the system.
ICUMS since its full implementation has been fraught with a number of challenges leaving importers and freight forwarders dissatisfied.
The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders and other stakeholders at the ports have complained of an increase in rent and demurrage charges, the re-emergence of manual processes of release and the computation of figures in ICUMS among others.
But reacting to the concerns raised with the new system, the Public Relations Manager of Ghana Link, Norvan Acquah-Hayford said his outfit is working to resolve all identified challenges adding that a significant number of the concerns raised earlier have all been dealt with.
According to him, the existing problem emanates from the transition process from the old system that was being managed by GCNET and West Blue to the new system.
I must admit that yes challenges have come, it’s a new system, new people are learning how to use it…So we acknowledge that people might have challenges, I want to plead with our brothers and sisters that they need to bear with us. We are resolving every issue they have raised, he said.
Moreover, he said TIN has been working since day one of its deployment with some level of challenges on the first day, being resolved on the second day of operation, i.e. 2 June, 2020.
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Also with the challenges regarding the system calculations, Mr. Acquah-Hayford said, ICUMS has been in operations since February 2020. Payment is no longer made on the Bill of Entry (BoE) but rather a Bill of Tax is generated for the payment. Whereas previously, a post-entry is required to update change in exchange rate, ICUMS does that automatically and generates a new Bill of Tax. This is a more effective way of managing changes in exchange rate rather than the post-entry as was the case in the old system.
The 1% Inspection Fee in the case of General Goods & New Vehicles and 1% Examination Fee in the case of Used Motor Vehicles are administrative fees and not related to a service provider. So long as a BOE goes through Classification and Valuation process, the payment of this fee is required. Also, the tax base for the calculation of ad-valorem taxes in Ghana has not changed and is duly enforced in the ICUMS. The upfront relief on the payment of the 1% IRS Tax Deposit is not permanent and subject to periodic review. All taxpayers who require an upfront relief of this tax from GRA after approval are updated into ICUMS as and when the approval is done, otherwise you are required to pay.