Contrary to claims that the newly introduced UNI-PASS system will be an upgrade of the former, GCNET, it appears the new system, now Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS), has been faced with technical challenges since it took over operations at the ports on June 1, 2020.
Some importers and clearing agents who spoke to GhanaWeb lamented the slow pace at which their goods are being cleared from the ports.
The entire process they said, was time-consuming, which equally has a negative impact on their business.
They also said because of their inability to get their goods out of the ports within a stipulated time, their goods have run into demurrages, leading to extra costs, a situation which is of concern to them.
The affected persons have therefore called on the government to restore the operations of GCNET and rather shutdown UNI-PASS.
One of the importers who spoke to the news team stressed that â€œThe system is not working. They should come out to apologise to the importers and the whole world that theyâ€™ve led us into a bad thing. GCNET is very good, you can access everything there but here, you canâ€™t assessâ€.
Another interviewee was of the view that government should have allowed both the GCNET and UNI-PASS systems to operate side by side for some time before cutting them off to avoid these mishappenings.
â€œIf you want to stop somebody from doing a work, just parallel them for some time beforeâ€¦look at the way we are suffering. You cannot pay duty, you cannot do anything,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of Ghana Link Network Services Ltd, Norvan Acquah Hayford, in an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb, explained that most of the challenges these freight forwarders, importers, and clearing agents are faced with are resultant of the transition process from the old system that was being managed by GCNET and West Blue, to the new system.
He assured importers, clearing agents and freight forwarders that the challenges with the implementation of the new system will soon be fixed, to facilitate smooth running of businesses.
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 Ghanaâ€™s trade facilitation.