Some freight forwarders at the Tema Port yesterday protested against what they claimed were delays in the processing of documents to clear their goods from the port, attributing the situation to the full implementation of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), also known as Uni-Pass, which has taken full charge of cargo clearance at the port. They demanded that the operating systems of the former service provider, the Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet), be restored to allow them to exit their consignments which were processed and cleared through that system.
The protesters, who gathered at the Tema Command of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), chanted: ‘We want GCNet! We want GCNet!!’
Similarly, the group claimed that some shipping agents were unable to load vessel manifests on new imports that had arrived at the port due to the challenges with the new system.
They further alleged that they faced difficulty processing bills of entry (BoEs) on new imports through the ICUMS, as the system either registered the entries as errors or rejected them entirely.
Besides, they said the ICUMS was unable to populate Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) of importers and agents who were commencing the new import declarations.
The Minister of Trade, Mr Alan Kyerematen, and his deputy, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, together with the Commissioner General of the GRA, Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, and the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the GRA, Col. (retd) Kwadwo Damoah, were at the port to assess the situation.
Col Damoah, who had earlier addressed the group, explained that the technical implementation team had anticipated the challenges and made provisions which were outlined in a new road map that was issued to all stakeholders last Saturday.