The Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) has emphasised that its operations system was robust, and does not give room for clearing malpractices and urged importers and clearing agents to desist from dishonest practices.
Mr Raymond Amaglo, Director of Operations at Ghana Link Services Limited managers of the ICUMS speaking on behalf of the Company during a media discussion said “we have a robust system which doesn’t give room for malpractices in the clearing processes”.
He therefore urged importers and clearing agents to desist from dishonest practices during the import clearing process in a bid to avoid consequential frustrations.
He said declarants must ensure that they were putting in the right information, stressing that, “If you are not compliant, the system is able to frustrate you”.
Mr Amaglo said the same way ICUMS could frustrate non-compliant agents, it also rewarded compliant users, by ensuring a seamless, convenient, and quick turnaround time during the clearance process.
Touching on vehicle clearance with the system, he revealed that “vehicle declarations are now being churned out in a matter of hours from Customs, so if they are able to truthfully and accurately declare, they will have a good journey through ICUMS”.
Mr. Amaglo said ICUMS ensured that importers saved time and money with its pre-manifest declaration feature that allowed declarants to submit documents and pay relevant duties and taxes electronically prior to the arrival of the shipment in Ghana.
“One advantage of the pre-manifest declaration is that, once you have paid at this stage, you won’t be affected by exchange rate increases when Customs update it weekly until arrival of vessel,” he disclosed.
According to him, ICUMS had integrated with all commercial banks, for easy payment in addition to allowing importers to pay with the various payment options, such as visa, Mastercard and mobile money, which was not allowed before its introduction.
He added that “with the way ICUMS worked, you do not even need to handover money to the agent to pay duty if you don’t want to. You can pay directly”.
He said another advantage of ICUMS was its integration with the various stakeholders in the clearance chain, which had created a centralised platform for submission of relevant information, making it easy for importers to remotely and conveniently do business.
The Director of Operations at Ghana Link also outlined other benefits of the system as the retention of the duty calculator which helped importers of used cars to get a close estimate of duties payable.
Mr Amaglo said ICUMS was currently in its first phase, the development of the second phase was in advanced stages and that would include an e-auction process, which would be due by September.
He said the second phase would have the feature of Advanced Passenger Information System to be used at the Airport for risk profiling of cargo and people with an additional e-wallet system to serve as a safe net to keep outstanding balance for future transactions with the GRA.