You are here: HomeBusiness2020 04 25Article 934135

Business News of Saturday, 25 April 2020


GIFF President points out challenges at Takoradi port

Eddie Akrong, President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders Eddie Akrong, President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders

President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Edward Akrong has said the rollout of UNIPASS, now Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) at the Takoradi port is creating a lot of unbearable problems for clearing agents and importers.

He said the UNIPASS/Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) was unable to deliver the end to end package as envisaged, adding that currently the operators of the system were mixing the manual with electronic process to release goods at the Takoradi ports, resulting in delays in clearing goods.

Mr Akrong who made this known on Citi TV’s Face to Face programme on Tuesday evening said the shipping lines also resorted to the manual release of goods because of the problems with the UNIPASS/ICUMS system.

He said the chaotic situation that UNIPASS/ICUMS system had created at the port does not augur well for clearing agents and the country as a whole.

He, therefore, called on President Akufo-Addo to intervene in the situation by halting the failing UNIPASS/ICUMS system to save the nation and importers from losing revenue.

Mr Akrong said “Our members cannot use the UNIPASS/ICUMS system because the system is problematic. Some importers have still not been able to clear their goods since April 9, 2020. We are losing a lot of revenue as a result of the failing system.”

Given the problems with the UNIPASS/ICUMS system, he said currently most clearing agents have gone back to use the GCNet/West blue system, adding that “about 80 percent of the clearance is being done through the GCNET and West Blue systems now.”

Mr Akrong bemoaned the situation where goods for export were seized at the borders because the exporter did no use the UNIPASS/ICUMS system.

He cited an incident that happened recently at the Paga border, where a customs officer prevented a good from leaving the country because the exporter used the GCNet, West blue systems.

In March 2018, Ghana Link Network Services Limited, in collaboration with Customs UNI-PASS International Agency (CUPIA) of Korea Customs Services, were through sole-sourcing contracted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to introduce UNI-PASS system at Ghana’s ports for 10 years at a cost of US$40m.

In the contract, the government would have to cough out an amount of $93 million that would be paid to Ghana Link and its overseas partner CUPIA Korea owning UNIPASS if the company is allowed to start operating Ghana’s National Single Window platform and asked to stop in the first year in the event of any anomaly whatsoever detected.