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Business News of Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Source: 3 News

We’ll increase prices of drugs over ICUMS – Pharmaceutical manufacturers

Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana Lucia Addae has said members of her association will pass on the cost incurred over the implementation of the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) to the consumers.

According to her, they are incurring a lot of cost following the challenges with the system.

For instance, she noted that some coronavirus drugs and other vaccines have been locked up at the ports due to the challenges with ICUMS.

Since June 2, all transactions related to the import and export of goods at the various ports have been conducted through the one-stop service for all customs clearance procedures, dubbed ICUMS.

This follows the successful simulation and piloting of ICUMS at the 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, 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.

But the implementation has met resistance from some importers and exporters who claim the system is ineffective and affecting their work.

Speaking on the Sunrise morning show on 3FM hosted by Alfred Ocansey on Wednesday, June 17, Lucia Addae said: “There are even COVID-related medicines like Hydroxychloroquine being stuck at the port, there are vaccines, there are other medications stuck at the port because of the new system.”

She further stated that the implementation of the ICUMS system was poorly done and should be reconsidered.

“We had an old system that was working, the GCNet. It was efficient, you could upload, preload documents before your consignment gets in. You will know the values that you are paying and then you go through the process that was known by all the stakeholders.

“It is important to know that this ICUMS system was brought in about a month ago, it had challenges and for some reasons, it was withdrawn.

“What the pharmaceutical manufacturers are facing right is that currently, they are not able to put in their documents before the consignment comes in, there are companies that have 10 containers or more and then they have to start the process all over again.”

Last week, Mr Akwesi Serebour Boateng, Executive Member of the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana (ACHAG), said the ICUMS is a confusing system at the port.

He said the system is creating problems for importers, a situation that is hampering revenue generation by the state.

Mr Serebuor Boateng told Alfred Ocansey on TV3 that “this is the worst transition I have seen in my life tome at the port”.

“When somebody says ICUMS is a system I doubt, it is not a system. It is a confused thing. When you have a problem and you go to the custom officer that this is my problem he will tell you to go and do A, B, C but it won’t work.

“You come the next day to say another officer and that one also doesn’t work and then finally you must go and do it manually.”

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