Effective today, June 1, 2020, all transactions related to the import and export of goods at the various ports will be conducted through the one-stop service for all customs clearance procedures, dubbed Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS).
This follows 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
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.
The system, deployed by Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), replaces the Ghana Customs Management System GCMS. This means that GCNet and West Blue Consulting cease to operate at Ghana’s ports from today.
ICUMS, essentially, is an electronic customs clearance system that computerizes customs procedures and provides for the automation of the clearance process as a solution to overcome the increased volumes in trade and travelers given the limited resources available.
ICUMS is currently operating in countries in Africa, South America, and Asia, including Korea, and is composed of 77 modules.
These include processes such as Manifest input, Classification and Valuation, Cargo Handling and Clearance, Free Zones, Transit, and Bonded Warehousing, Human Resource Administration, and Risk Management. It also has five subordinate systems: A Single Window (SW) system, a clearance management system, a cargo management system, an information management system, and an administration system.
With the new system deployment, all-new Bill of Entry for import/export/transit will have to be processed through the ICUMS.
Release of Cargo processed in Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS)
To have business continuity and smooth transition, the Ghana Revenue Authority GRA has put in place a process flow to allow freight forwarders to get the release of their cargo which had it Bills of Entry (BoEs) processed in Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS).
This process flow is to ensure that the business at the Tema port is not cut abruptly or create congestion. This information has been shared with all Freight Forwarders and Clearing House Agents, Shipping Lines, Terminal Operators, Consolidators, and all other stakeholders including the MMDA’s.
ICUMS is a departure from the previous system
ICUMS is a departure from the previous system where 'valuation and classification' and 'risk management and payment' were handled by different entities.
"The decision to discontinue the services of GCNet and West Blue was informed by the need to replace the multiplicity of vendors with a single service provider deploying an end-to-end system," according to a statement issued by GRA in announcing the plan.
"The UNI-PASS technology has been deployed successfully in Tanzania since 2015 under the name Tancis, which the World Customs Organisation (WCO) has acclaimed as one of the best innovative trade facilitation systems. Cameroun, like Ghana, has deployed the same technology after successfully developing its system early this year," according to a GRA statement issued in late April 2020.
GHANA LINK NETWORK SERVICES LIMITED has assembled a committed and well-trained personnel who stand ready to provide technical support and help to anyone who will have any challenges from today. These men and women are capable of handling our sophisticated state of the art Information technology facilities, as well as being committed to providing professional service.
State-of-the-art data center to manage both legacy and new data
A state-of-the-art data center, backed with a fast internet link, has been established at the Ministry of Finance to manage both legacy data, as well as new data to be acquired by the ICUMS.
The Vice-Chair and Technical Committee head, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GHIFF), Tema branch Johnny Mante asked freight forwarders to be calm as the new Integrated Customs Management System ICUMS is an end-to-end single-window solution which will make their work even easier.
“I will ask our members to be calm as the takeover begins today. We admit that there may be some challenges, but that is normal with new systems but what we should be doing is to follow the process flow that has been published and given to your members.
It is a fact that there will be some manual release but that is for those of you who have done payments using the old Ghana Customs Managements Systems GCMS. Lets all corporate and do what we are told and everything will be fine.”