The President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Eddie Akrong, says the UNIPASS system currently undergoing piloting at some designated entry points is facing challenges.
He says only one declaration has gone through the system since the piloting started.
The UNI-PASS International Agency of Korea Customs Services and its local partner, Ghana Link Network Services Limited, have been contracted to implement a National Single Window in collaboration with Customs for trade facilitation.
UNIPASS is expected to take over the platform at the country’s ports from GCNET and West Blue, but GCNET insists there is no need for a new company to provide a service they’re offering already.
Mr. Akrong says the new system isn’t ready for take-off.
“We do not have anything against government policies and programs. If it directly affects the trader, and affects the treasury, it is going to take a hit. Then we will have an issue, we would have to speak up on it. So far, the major ones that we know are the Aflao and Elubo borders where most of our transit cargo through the West African coast is coming through. As at now, there is only one declaration that has gone through. We are still using the West Blue and the GCNet systems, which is the reason why we are saying if they are not ready, then we shouldn’t push this because if this happens, it is just going to be a matter of chaos, then the treasury is going to take a hit which we don’t want”. He explained.
Mr. Akrong says there hasn’t been adequate testing of the system, hence their agitation over the rollout at the Port.
“We know the system is not ready. We have been through training, but we haven’t done any end to end processes on it. We have to go through the process, using all the regimes then they run a piloting. Stress test must be done to make sure that the system is robust enough to carry all pressure put on the system. If all of this has not been done, how does it work?” Mr Akrong questioned.