17th May 2024

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo

It has emerged that the decision by government to deploy the UNI-PASS single window service was to address the issues arising from the transition from the existing Customs Management System to a new end-to-end trade facilitation regime, information available to the Daily Statesman confirms.

 

A Joint Inter-Ministerial Oversight Committee (JIMOC) set up by cabinet in January last year under the chairmanship of the Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, to oversee the smooth implementation of the new custom management system has held several meetings with the various vendors on the essence and considerable impact of the new custom management system hence an amicable transition to the new system.

 

Discard falsehood

 

It is therefore not true that the company operating the new customs clearing system known as UNI-PASS, has no track record and the required competence to execute the work at hand.

 

Government in a Statement says the impression that the UNI-PASS technology has not been deployed or tested anywhere in the world “is not accurate.” “The UNI-PASS technology has been deployed successfully in Tanzania since 2015 under the name Tancis, which World Customs Organization (WCO) has acclaimed as one of the best innovative trade facilitation systems.

 

Cameroun, like Ghana, has deployed the same technology after successfully developing their system early this year,” a statement released by the government argued. It further pointed out that “in Ecuador in South America, the system has successfully been deployed since 2010 and it is still operating.

 

The best place to see the efficacy of this UNI-PASS customs management technology is in South Korea itself where since 1998, the system has been deployed to successfully manage their complex and far bigger customs operations.”

 

Tried and tested technology

 

“Simulation exercises, scalability and stress tests of the new system have been conducted and have all proved favorable and the reports are available for review at the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” the statement added. Successful implementation.

 

The statement further disclosed that available records (from March 1, 2020 when the project took-off) indicate that the implementation has been largely successful. “Government of Ghana has recorded that since March 1, 2020, imports entering the country through a limited number of entry points are being cleared through the new system.

 

For the period, 57 freight forwarders who do business at the selected entry points have all been successfully enrolled and are clearing goods through the new UNI-PASS system,” it revealed. Some benefits to be derived from the new UNI-PASS system, it noted, include a full ownership of the system by the government, which will not require any foreign shareholder as compared to the GCNet.

 

“There will be cost savings because of the single window system with an end-to-end trade facilitation system; it will improve the security of cross-border movement of persons and wholesome goods; facilitate trade across our borders; provide customs revenue assurances; and achieve better and more accurate audit trail for all goods crossing our borders for both economic and security management,” the statement assured.

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