The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has disclosed plans to roll out the second phase of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at the ports by the end of the first quarter of this year to rake in more revenue for the country.
The Integrated Customs Management System deployed in March 2020, is a single-window project introduced by the government to facilitate trade activities at the Tema Port.
The project was undertaken to strengthen the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and eventually enhance revenue mobilisation at the ports.
The system, between June 2020 and April 2021, generated a total of GH¢18.1 billion in revenue to the government, nearly a year after it became fully operational at the country’s land and sea borders.
In order to expand the country’s revenue mobilization system, the GRA this year has pledged to leverage digitization at the ports to achieve its ¢80.3 billion revenue target for 2022.
This includes the rolling out of a second phase of the ICUMS by end of March this year.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the sidelines of the first annual general meeting of the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana, the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Suspense Regimes at the Customs Division of the GRA, Emmanuel Ohene, outlined what the new modules of the ICUMS will entail.
“The second phase includes the advanced passenger information system which will be a tool for risk management for all the various stakeholders of interest such as the airports. We will profile the passengers and their cargo and determine the kind of treatment they should be subjected by based on their risk levels. We also have the auction module which has been completed and is in the test stage now. When deployed, all our auction processes will be automated.”
“Again, we have the electronic wallet which is also at a very near stage of completion where refunds that are due importers will be credited to the electronic wallet which they could use for payment of taxes at a future date. Most of the modules have completed production and are in the test stages. Some we are expecting to deploy by the end of this month and for others, latest by the end of the first quarter.”
The Acting President of the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana, Yaw Kyei, however, stressed earlier calls for the government and the Ghana Shippers’ Council to check the differences in the charges taken by the shipping lines at the ports.
“Another area of grave concern has been the indiscriminate and arbitrary increments of invoices raised by the Shipping Lines. At times the rate of exchange applied differs substantially from one Line to another. The difference could be as much as 20%. There is no uniformity in their charges even though they perform the same services. Again, differences and their charges do not reflect services rendered. We call on the Ghana Shippers’ Council to bring them to order.”
The first Annual General Meeting of the Association of Customs House Agents Ghana was focused on the digitalization of the customs process as a tool for revenue mobilization.