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July 16, 2020
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UNIPASS readies for take-off after successful simulation at the Tema Port

The Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) to be deployed by UNIPASS is ready to take-off at the Tema Port.

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Ghana Link Network Services Limited and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) have successfully conducted a simulation exercise for the new Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) at the Port.

The exercise which included the Meridian Port Services (MPS) Limited, Ghana Shippers Authority, GSA, Shipping Lines, National Security, Narcotics Control Board, Food and Drugs Authority, Bank of Ghana, BOG, Ghana Standards Authority, Free Zones Authority and all other stakeholders at the Port of Tema was aimed at testing the ICUMS ability to aid the free flow of both import and export.

It was also to test the response time in dealing with the simulated incident when multiple government entities are involved to react immediately upon request, based on a scenario involving the grounding of a vessel due to an oil spill that could have environmental repercussions on the ports marine wildlife.

Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo who led a delegation of government officials to observe the exercise expressed his satisfaction of progress of work so far in the implementation of the project. He also charged the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA to ensure the ICUMS has a smooth take-off.

This exercise has been very successful with the system able to accept the manifest from shipping lines, and the ability of freight forwarders to use it. I must say with what we have seen today I have no doubt that well be able to take off come implementation date. The rest of the work rests on the Customs officials who will have to stand ready for the take-off.
The new system otherwise known as UNIPASS earlier had some teething challenges. However, the success of the simulation exercise speaks to the readiness of the ICUMS for public use at the Sea Port of Tema and Kotoka International Airport, KIA.

After the exercise, the Acting CommissionerGeneral of the GRA Amisshadai Owusu-Amoah assured the Senior Minister of the Authority’s determination to ensure the projects smooth take-off.

“Everything is going as planned and am impressed with the effort put in by the service provider and my officers. The simulation has been successful and its gives us the confidence with regards to the rollout date”
He added that when the ICUMS is fully deployed at the Tema Port which is the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa, the country will see an increase in revenue over time with many of the current loopholes plugged.

Also present were Minister for Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen and his Deputy Carlos Ahenkora, Deputy Minister of Finance Kwaku Kwarteng and other government officials.
Currently, there have been training and registration for users of the ICUMS including freight forwarders, Shipping Lines, government agencies, GRA Customs officials and all other individuals who will be using the system. Training is still ongoing for other stakeholders ahead of the full deployment of the new system.

The ICUMS is expected to be deployed by the end of this month at the Tema Port and the KIA.

Starrfm.com.gh

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