Trade facilitation system the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) manned by Ghana Link Network Services Limited for the period between June 2020 to April 2021, has generated a total of Ghs 18.1 billion in revenue to the government nearly a year after its full roll-out at the nation’s land and sea borders.
The revenue generated consist of mobilized revenues from total imports, petroleum imports, the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) of the GRA, the ESLA Plc and Non GRA revenues.
Data sighted by norvanreports indicate that total revenues generated from total imports and petroleum imports for the period under review amounted to Ghs 11.1 billion and Ghs 2.09 billion respectively.
Accumulated revenues from the DTRD of GRA, ESLA Plc and Non-GRA revenues amounted to Ghs 2.04 billion, Ghs 2.2 billion and Ghs 291 million respectively.
Total revenue accumulated by the ICUMS for government at the end of last year – 2020 – was Ghs 11.5 billion, with total revenues also accumulated from January to April this year amounted to Ghs 6.61 billion.
Speaking in an interview, the Director of Operations of Ghana Link – managers of the ICUMS system – Raymond Amaglo, noted the recorded revenues through the ICUMS platform represents a 34 percent month-on-month average increment in revenues.
“The ICUMS system has sealed government revenue leakages and loopholes at the country’s points of entry – land and sea borders. Currently, records show that on average, revenues have increased by 34 percent on a month-on-month basis and this is even amid the Covid pandemic,” averred Mr Amaglo.
Mr Amaglo’s assertion is evidenced for instance, by the increment in cargo traffic at the nation’s largest port – Tema Port – where the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authourity (GPHA), exceeded its cargo traffic target by 5.9 percent from 18,293,893 to 19,372,993 last year which is also 11.16 percent higher than the 2019 volumes of 17,427,625, adding to government’s revenues.
Comparing year-on-year performance of Ghana Link’s ICUMS to that of the previous system manned by GCNet and West Blue, you will see that in July 2020 while the ICUMS generated over Ghs 1.1 billion, while the GCNet and West Blue put together generated duty payments of Ghs 949 million. This represents a 23% increase for the ICUMS.
Again, in August 2020 the percentage increase in revenues by the ICUMS was around 32%, generating duty payment of some Ghs 1.2 billion while the old vendors (GCNet and West Blue) raised Ghs 952 million year on year (August 2019).
In September 2020 ICUMS generated above Ghs 1.2 billion representing some 35% increase of revenue compared to the Ghs 920 million duty payments in the same period in 2019.
Still on the year-on-year comparison, November 2019 was the best performance of the old vendors as they raised a little over Ghs 1 billion but again they were out performed by the ICUMS of Ghana Link Network Services Ltd which generated some Ghs 1.2 billion representing an increase of 26% in percentage terms.
In October 2020 the ICUMS raised 35% (Ghs 1.3 billion) in revenues higher than what the GCNet and West Blue (Ghs 980 million) generated for the government. In November 2020, the ICUMS recorded a 25% increase in revenues.
As at December 12, 2020, the ICUMS had generated some Ghs 10.5 billion.
The ICUMS from January to March 2021, cumulatively, had generated an amount of Ghs 4.81 billion and Ghs 1.79 billion in April.
At the moment, implementation of the second phase of the ICUMS system is underway, some features to be introduced on the platform on the back of the recently unveiled Direct Cargo Delivery feature include the E-auction feature, the advanced passenger information system mainly for airports, E-wallet, the authorised and economic operator module which prioritizes applications of compliant traders among others.
Meanwhile, Key stakeholders within the port trade chain say import and export procedures through the country’s sea and land borders have seen a significant improvement in clearance time.
This feat according to them is attributed to the implementation of the much talked about Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS).
According to them the pre-manifest declaration (PDM) procedures imbedded in the ICUMS had provided room for importers and agents to clear cargo within a day, except in situations where they had unsatisfactory issues with the cargo examination processes.
In Ghana the introduction and implementation of the system was greeted with controversy with many calling on the government to halt its execution.
Deployed on June 1, 2020, the ICUMS currently covers some 135 Customs operational points across the country including the Elubo and Aflao borders, the Tema and Takoradi ports, as well as the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The pre-clearance allows importers to make necessary applications to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for approval of permits on cargoes that require clearance.
It also grants an importer or agent access to create a Bill of Entry (BOE) and other such processes to enable Customs to undertake classification and valuation to determine the duties and taxes to be paid.