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Politics of Saturday, 29 February 2020

Source: Michael Oberteye, Contributor

Support Uni-Pass implementation - NPP Japan branch 1st vice chairman

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The 1st vice-chairman of the NPP-Japan branch, Mr. Michael Awuah has thrown his support to the move by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to implement Uni-Pass.

He said as the Ghanaian economy is developing at a faster rate and among the fastest-growing economies in the world, it was no surprise its trade volume is increasing at a faster rate.

According to him, reports from the Ghana Shippers Authority indicate that Ghana’s seaborne export trade volumes for the first six months of 2019 recorded a whopping 42% increase over the corresponding period of 2018.

“Due to the industrialization drive of the NPP government, imports for the same period decreased by 11.3% compared to 2018 indicating that Ghanaian industries are on the rise of producing and exporting Ghana made items”, he added.

Mr. Awuah made this statement in a telephone interview and commended the government, GRA and Korean customs for deciding to develop an electronic customs clearance system called Uni-Pass.

This system computerizes customs procedures and provides for the automation of the clearance process, as a solution to overcome the increase in trade volume and travellers, given the limited resources available.

The system in Ghana is spearheaded by Ghana Link Service Ltd. in collaboration with Customs Uni-Pass international Agency (CUPIA) of the Korean Customs Service.

The system is geared to be piloted at the Takoradi harbour this month of February 2020.

Mr. Awuah, a Ghanaian resident in Japan and an expert in the shipping industry called on all shippers to support this move because the Uni-Pass was not developed overnight, it was done through numerous trials and errors as opposed to claims made by IMANI Ghana that the Uni-Pass is untested port evaluation system.

“And today, the result of years of experience and of the high level of know-how the Korean customs electronically process 430 million and 50 million travelers per year.” he indicated.

He said Ghana stands to gain a lot from this partnership with a system that comes with a single-window system, a clearance management system, a cargo management system, an information management system, and an administration system.

Mr. Awuah was full of praise for Ghana because Uni-Pass will provide a comprehensive national single window platform resulting in more revenue for the country.

“The coming of Uni-Pass will also lead to a reduction of some port charges from 1% on a consignment of imported items to 0.75% on the same quantity of goods as explained by the deputy minister of Trade and Industry.” he expressed.

He said, unlike the GCNET which is about 60% of foreign interest, this agreement which is being piloted is a government to government agreement and it is well acknowledged by the WTO, WCO, WORLD Bank, amongst others; as one of the best Customs Systems in the world.