As government prepares to officially outdoor the UNIPASS system at the country’s ports on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders is questioning the efficacy of system.
The system is to take over the implementation of the single window platform from GCNET and West Blue Consult.
However, a report signed by the President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Edward Akrong, insists that the project has systemic issues that must be addressed immediately.
According to the report, the myriad of problems declarants face are mostly due to lack of proper mapping of the process flow, inadequate training of declarants and unresolved systemic issues.
It argues that “all these have culminated in serious delays leading to untold hardship”.
It said demurrage and rent payments have become the norm with no respite in sight, adding that quality assurance is key to repose confidence in the new system.
The report said these are not normal times, since the scourge of COVID-19 presents a clear and present danger in view of the very predictable massing up of Ghana’s compatriots in search for solutions.
It urged the state to tarry a while with the implementation to get all the fundamentals right.
The report warned that an attempt to introduce this in busier ports like KIA and Tema would be disastrous to say the least.
The government has insisted that it will not be liable for any judgment debt with the introduction of the UNIPASS system at the country’s ports.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry which signed on behalf of the government maintains that the new system is crucial for the blocking of all revenue leakages at the ports.
The UNIPASS is expected to replace all trade facilitation roles involving the clearing of goods and tracking of revenue at the ports, currently being carried out by GCNet and WestBlue.
But a Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah, earlier told Citi Business News they will not back down on their decision.
“The most important thing is UNIPASS is certainly going to come to pass but when that happens we will call on the termination or the expiry clauses of these contracts of the big players in the system now…we are going to ensure that there will be any judgement debt in Ghana with the roll out of UNIPASS,” he argued.