The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it will continue to go through its planned roll out of the new single window system, UNIPASS, despite claims of delay in clearing goods at the ports by the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF).
This follows the decision by government to hand over the single window port operations to Ghana Link and its overseas partner, CUPIA Korea (UNIPASS).
Though UNIPASS was scheduled to take off yesterday, March 2, at some selected ports of entry, some clearing agents at the Elubo border in the Western Region were said to have not been able to implement it as there were concerns from them to be duly educated and sensitized on the new port system.
According to the Commissioner of Customs at the GRA, Col. (Rtd) Kojo Damoah, the authority has carried out the necessary education and sensitization for all stakeholders ahead of the implementation of the new single window platform at ports of entry.
“As for the contractual aspect, I’m clear in my mind that there should certainly be provisions that will deal with all eventualities and now coming to the real operational aspect, we’ve started rolling out the program and the stakeholders have all been engaged about the new system. We thought that the best way out was to have every potential stakeholder well educated and informed on the program,” he told Citi Business News.
Mr. Kojo Damoah adds that he believes the new system should be implemented without any hindrances.
Meanwhile, clearing agents across the country have expressed their displeasure at the decision citing inadequate education and sensitization on the new system as a possibility of incurring huge cost in demurrages to be paid to shipping lines should the single window system ever experience a breakdown.
According to them, the move by the government will create chaos at the ports and also erode all the gains chalked by the introduction of the paperless port system back in 2017.
Earlier, Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo in a letter dated 26th February 2020, directed Freight Forwarders, Clearing Agents and other stakeholders in the country, to use the UNIPASS system to clear their goods from Sunday, March 1, 2020.