African BusinessEconomy

Ghana Link, CUPIA sign agreement to expand single window system into sub-region

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Ghana Link Network, operators of the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) at the nation’s ports, has signed an agreement with its technical partners Customs of Korea (CUPIA) to work together to deploy its technology in other African countries.

The partnership entails a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the introduction of new models for ICUMS aimed at enhancing revenue assurance and security.

According to Raymond Amaglo, Director of Operations, Ghana Link Network, the ceremony was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Ghana Link accepting to work with its partner, share resources, share technology together to help deploy this system especially across neighbouring countries and even other parts of Africa.

“The UNIPASS system is a robust system, and we have been working together with them to finetune it to suit our conditions in our country, so this is a bespoke system that was developed for us, they have a good understanding of the customs processes and procedures and with their background, international standards, they apply with regard to the development of their systems, this is a very good addition to our team.

The UNIPASS system is among the top three in the world when you talk about single window systems across the world, so we thought it was a good idea to partner with them, to pick from their rich experiences and resources and that is what has enabled us to come this far with the deployment of ICUMS.

They get to deploy this technology to as many countries across the world as possible and we are partnering them in that regard.”he told the press at the official signing ceremony in Accra on Tuesday.

Mr Amaglo said the goal of Ghana Link was to ensure that on a very constant basis, they improve their processes at the ports to ensure that no country matches Ghana in trade facilitation.

He added that they would also ensure that that ICUMS is efficient to bring about cost and time reduction in the doing of business at the various ports of entry in Ghana.

AfCFTA

Further he pointed out that the new technology has been designed to aid importers and exporters trading under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). “We had worked on December 2020, to ensure that on the 1 of January when AfCFTA was taking off, Ghana has the host country were ready with our system, the AfCFTA processes enabled on ICUMS and it has been ready from the 1st of January 2021,

The AfCFTA protocols have some advantages for importers and exporters, when it comes to payment of duties there is a reduction, so the system has been provisioned to recognize all the reductions or concessions that are available to people when they take advantage of it.”

Ghana Link are the lead company when it comes to the project in the Gambia. “But then again because of our partnership with CUPIA, we are going along with them to ensure that the positives or advantages we have derived from here are replicated in the Gambia as well, we have an agreement with the government to deploy a national single window for the Republic of Gambia.

The Deputy Director, Legal at the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Ebrima Sallah said the single window system will enhance the revenue base and remove the human interface.  “It ensures that all importers connect to the system, for the clearance of goods you use the system, all tariff lines in the existing custom laws will be uploaded in the system.

The human interface will be reduced when it comes to revenue collection, revenue authority is moving from a manual system to a more robust digital system.” 

ICUMS, which is the name of the Ghana version of Universal Pass (UNI-PASS),built by Korea Customs, is a new all-in-one customs management solution owned by government. Ghana Link Network Services Limited, which has a 10-year contract with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, partnered Korea Customs to introduce UNI-PASS in Ghana.

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