Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, Sampson Asaki Awingobet has expressed his dissatisfaction over the complete takeover of the Ghana Community Network (GCNet) clearing system by the new Integrated Custom Management System (ICUM) popularly known as Unipass.
He noted that he is not against the UNIPASS system but expected the government to have listened to them first before unilaterally deciding to abruptly replace the GCNet .
Speaking in an interview on Happy 98.9 FM’s Epa Hoa Daben with Samuel Eshun who sat in for Afrifa-Mensah, Sampson Awingobet said; ” we’re not against the government replacing GCNet with UNIPASS but they should have listened to us. The government should’ve allowed the UNIPASS to run parallel to the GCNet system.”
According to him, running the parallel system will not only give the UNIPASS space to run a pilot program, but it would have also been used as a period for the reconciliation of the systems. “With every program, you need time to run and test the system to make sure the system is ready to function.”
Sampson Asaki Awingobet disclosed that he suggested the phasing out of the GCNet be done within a six week period to ensure a flawless system at the ports but it all fell on deaf ears.
The businessman noted that the confusion and locked goods at the ports currently is because of data loss. “GCNet told us they had transferred our data to UNIPASS but clearing process has had to start all over again because the UNIPASS system cannot find it,” he told Samuel Eshun.
The Ghana Community Network (GCNet) clearing system at the ports was replaced with the Integrated Custom Management System (ICUM) popularly known as Unipass on June 1, 2020, by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Members of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders have staged a protest to press home to the government the need to suspend UNIPASS and revert to the GCNET system of clearing goods at the various ports.
The members claim the UNIPASS system has so many technical anomalies which continued to waste lots of turnaround time.
By: Joel Sanco