President of the Chamber of Freight forwarders and Trade (CFT), Dennis Amfo-Sefah, has stated that UNI-PASS will overcome the difficulties which led to the complete stall of goods clearance at the Ports.
While attributing the hitch to the sabotaging activities of some detractors, Amfo-Sefah, debunked the misinformation out that nothing was happening at the port; but rather explained that there were two sides to what was currently happening in Tema port.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday said “Freight forwarders and traders who have a bill of entries (BoE) already logged unto the system and were at various stages of the clearance systems could go ahead and clear.
“The problem is with applications and entry of new declaration, which the system does not accept, hence the standstill at the Tema Port,” the statement explained.
According to the statement, some of the stakeholders acted in bad faith, which resulted in the challenges, but gave the assurance that things would work.
“Even though the Commissioner General wrote to all stakeholders announcing the implementation and deployment of the new national single window “Integrated Customs Management System” ICUMS it also directed GCNet to continue running their GICCS platform alongside the ICUMS-uni-pass platform, to enable all existing BoEs that are already logged in the GICCS-GCnet system to complete their clearance cycle whiles the ICUMS-Uni-pass receive New applications from UCR, CCVR stage to the final clearance cycle.”
The directives, he said, were communicated to GCnet, West blue, ICUMS-Uni-pass, and all stakeholders per letters with reference numbers; CG/GRA/ICUMS-PN/04/20 of 24th April 2020; CG/GRA/ICUMS/04/20 of 24TH April 2020, and CG/GRA/ICUMS-3/04/20 of 27th April 2020.
“This was to ensure that freight forwarders and traders who have already been issued with Customs Classification and Valuation Report “CCVRs’’ from the old Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System “PAARS” which is been managed by west blue utilize their CCVR’s.”
However, he said, “the freight and trade community only to turn up to work on Tuesday to surprisingly find out that GcNet systems were down."
The statement called on all stakeholders that failed to play their roles to render an apology to traders and freight forwarders in Tema port and compensate them for the loss of time and money.
Activities at the Tema Port came to a standstill last Monday when it was realized that the new port management platform that Government contracted CUPIA Korea to install had been encumbered with difficulties.
The difficulties coming in the very early days of the implementation of UNIPAS, led to misinformation in the public that the UNIPAS system which has come to replace GCNet’s system with is not good.
UNI-PASS is a new port clearing system that processes documents and payments through one window.
The new system is a departure from the previous system where ‘valuation and classification’ and ‘risk management and payment’ were handled by different entities.
The single window project is aimed at coordinating all activities at the ports on one platform to reduce time and cost in clearing and exporting goods.
The system, being spearheaded by Ghana Link Services Ltd, in collaboration with Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) of the Korean Customs Service, the designer of the system, replaces the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAARS) and the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) jointly operated by the Customs Division, the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) Ltd and West Blue Consulting.
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