New managers of Ghana’s ports, Ghana Link Network Services Limited (Ghana Link), has denied claims by freight forwarders over the new Integrated Customs Management System’s (ICUMS) inability to ensure the effective clearance of goods at the port.
Tensions between freight forwarders and management of Ghana Link over the past four days at the port have risen, due to the unsuccessful attempts of freight forwarders to have their goods cleared from the port.
A situation they claim is due to the inefficiency of the ICUMS.
The forwarders say, their inability to have their goods cleared from the port, has resulted in high costs of demurrage to be paid to the shipping lines and therefore pleaded with the government to intervene and help solve the challenges at the port to avert further costs to them.
But addressing the issue in an interview on Joy News’ Market Place on Friday, Public Relations Manager for Ghana Link, Norvan Acquah-Hayford, noted that there were no challenges with the new system –ICUMS – as 4,793 Bill of Entries (BoE) as of Friday, June 5, 2020 had been cleared.
I can tell you on authority that, ICUMS has been effective since Monday. The ICUMS since Monday has been able to clear over 4,793 BoEs, he stated.
Speaking further, Mr Acquah-Hayford noted that, the aggrieved freight forwarders were those who had made declarations and been issued BoEs under the old system – Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS).
Those complaining are the ones who made declarations and payments of duties under the old system which was shut down on Monday. Their challenges to have their goods cleared from the port has nothing to do with ICUMS, he added.
According to him, Ghana Link upon commencement of operations made arrangements to ensure the clearance of goods under the old system by forwarders and advised them to properly follow the arrangements and have their goods cleared from the port.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry in March 2018 signed a contract with Ghana Link Network Services Limited in collaboration with Customs UNI-PASS International Agency of Korea Customs Services to introduce the UNI-PASS system now named ICUMS in Ghana for a period of 10 years at a cost of $40 million.
This was after the government had ended its contract with Ghana Community Network Services Limited and West Blue Consulting, managers of the old system – the Ghana Customs Management Systems.
The new system is an all-in-one customs management solution specially tailored for the port needs of Ghana. It is a modern and world class technology acknowledged by international bodies such as the World Trade Organisation and the World Customs Organisations to facilitate trade, ensure end-to-end supply chain security and increase revenue.
Watch interview with Ghana Link PRM below: