Ghana Link Network Services Limited, the operators of Ghana’s first End-to-End single window e-Customs solution system known as the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) has learnt with uttermost shock some information put out by the leaders of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) concerning our operations which are factually inaccurate.
The group is on record to have told journalists at a press conference held on Friday July 22, 2022 at the office of the Food and Beverages Association in Accra on the theme, “Implementation of ICUMS 2 years on and other Port Matters”, that the ICUMS has some weaknesses which are affecting the smooth clearing of goods at the Tema port.
At the said press conference which was addressed by Mr. Jacob Agyemang, the Importers and Exporters Association alleged the lack of regular trainings for stakeholders on ICUMS and further alleged that changes done in the system were done without stakeholder’s knowledge.
Mr. Agyemang further stated that, “Customer –service under ICUMS is a challenge compared to the previous system. Whilst under the previous system, problems of stakeholders were effectively and efficiently handled with all alacrity, it is not a gainsay that the ICUMS lack behind in this area.”
Furthermore, the association through its spokesperson went on to state that, inasmuch the system is a great improvement to the old one, “we have observed that with the exception of EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), that, the system automatically identifies commodities that needs its permit, all other agencies permits must be entered by the user.” This statement is simply false
Finally, the association through its spokesperson also alleged that Ghana Link has not got enough E-Tracking devices which is affecting the suspense regime and costing agents and importers more money.
Ghana Link wishes to state that, the above allegations are factually inaccurate and false. One would think that if the IEAG was sincere, they would have at the very least provided some proof to back their claim especially on their claims on lack of training and customer service. It was largely all talk without any shred of evidence.
In light of the above, Ghana Link wishes to state that, the above allegations are factually inaccurate and false for the following reasons;
CALL CENTRE AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
To start with, on the issue of customer service we wish to state that we have one of the best state of the art call centre system which is manned by qualified staff well trained to handle all challenges or problems of users.
The ICUMS Call Centre staff attends to all Customer issues related to the system and can be reached on 030 275 0140. In addition, we provide client support services through the various Help Desks at the major Custom Offices across the country. The Help Desks are both walk-in and call-in offices. ICUMS personnel would always go the extra mile to assist any client who calls our Call Centre or a Help Desk or walks into a Help Desk Office for assistance. Where the nature of the request is a purely Customs related issue, clients are directed to reach out to the GRA-Customs tollfree number on 0800 900 113.
We are surprised at this allegation because Interestingly, Ghana Link just completed ICUMS training program for Declarants in both Tema and KIA for the second quarter of 2022. Training for Customs House Agents in Tema was held in June and that for Customs House Agents in KIA was held just a week ago. One is scheduled for Aflao on the 4th and 5th of August and another for Sunyani on the 30th of August. The leadership of the various Customs House Agents in these locations will confirm the arrangements are already in place with them.
The statement also mentions that stakeholders are not notified of changes in the system. We wish to state this is factually inaccurate as all stakeholders are informed of all major system updates. Our team also where required provide the needed training to users prior to implementation. The first information that greets a user upon visiting as well as after logging into the ICUMS website, www.external.unipassghana.com , is a pop-up explaining any anticipated system update. These updates can be found through the path, More Information > More Information > More Information > Notice.
The above clearly shows that, users of the ICUMS system are well informed on system updates and upgrades at all times.
PERMITS ENTERED MANUALLY BY USERS
Here again the importers and Exporters Association got it wrong and put out a factually inaccurate information. In creating MDA Applications, a Declarant has the option of using the Preparation Application function.
In this instance, ICUMS auto determines and lists all the MDAs (GSA, FDA, Energy Commission, TIDD, EPA) for which applications ought to be made once any of the regulated/mandated HS Codes provided by an of these Agencies have been chosen.
We wish to put on record that, we have more than 5000 tracking devices in circulation. It is therefore shocking for anyone to state that Ghana Link Network Services Ltd has not got enough tracking devices to track goods under the suspense regime.
In conclusion Ghana Link Network Services Ltd we wish to put it on record that the ICUMS is the best End-to-End single window e-Customs solution being used by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
The success of the system is unapparelled in the history of Ghana, as the multiple award-winning single window e-customs product has become the envy of our peers within the subregion who are looking to deploy same.