Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in conjunction with its external private sector partners has welcomed the introduction of a new Customs Management System, UNIPASS, at Ghana’s ports and frontiers.
The initiative seeks to provide an end-to-end supply chain solution that incorporates and consolidates existing systems currently in operation.
This was announced by the deputy Commissioner of Customs Division of the GRA, Mr Mate Kodjo, in-charge of Policy and Programmes, at a workshop in Tema to educate journalists on the new system.
According to him, as part of the initiative Korea Customs was contracted by Ghana Link Network Services to introduce UNIPASS, a product of the Korean Custom wing termed CUPIA that has developed a time tested customs business solutions.
He revealed that UNIPASS was essentially an electronic customs clearance system which computerise customs procedures and provided for the automation of the clearance process as a solution to overcome the increased volumes in the trade and travelers given the limited resources available.
Mr Mate Kodjo noted that as a pre-approval requisite to introducing UNIPASS to Ghana, CUPIA conducted a feasibility study of Ghana’s clearance process and supply chain management systems.
“This was to enable CUPIA to produce a robust solution that is suitable for Ghana’s requirements,” he disclosed.
Giving an overview of UNIPASS, Mr A.C. Ohene, an officer with CEPS, stated that UNIPASS has six basic modules which work together to ensure that the security within the supply chain was maintained.
He said a state-of-the-art data centre backed with fast internet link has been established at the ministry of finance to manage both legacy data as well as data to be acquired by UNIPASS.
Mr Ohene revealed that in consultation with key stakeholders, the customs division, Ghana Link and partners, CUPIA, have developed various modules to suit Ghana’s trade environment.
These, he disclosed, include manifest input, classification and valuation, cargo handling and clearance, free zones, transit and bonded warehousing, human resources administration and risk management.
He mentioned that an intensive training schedule has commenced across the country to provide hands on skill acquisition for all customs staff members and trade stakeholders.
On the features and benefits of UNIPASS, an officer of CEPS, Mr Saviour Agbemenu, said it integrates all government agencies associated with trade and passenger processing, enabling the sharing of information between regulatory agencies.
He said the system provides a paperless working environment for all customs clearance procedures and time used to process import clearance has been reduced from more than two days to a few hours.
Mr Ohene revealed also that the system collects bills of laden from shipping companies, airlines and forwarders and assigns a cargo tracking number to each consignment.
Story: From Na-ILLATU IDDRISU, TEMA