Riding on a successful implementation of the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) in the country, Ghana Link Network Services Limited (GLNSL) has entered into a fresh partnership deal with Customs UNI-PASS International Agency (CUPIA).
The partnership deal is to enable the two institutions to penetrate other African countries such as The Gambia to streamline their ports systems and enhance revenue generation.
Towards that, the Chairman of the Ghana Link Network Services, Nick Danso Adjei, signed on behalf of the GLNSL while the Chairman of the CUPIA, Yoon-shik Kim, appended his signature for his firm.
The signing was part of Mr Kim’s two-day working visit to Ghana to engage officials of the GRA, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and Ghana Link Network Services to further deepen collaboration.
Smooth business operations
At a ceremony to sign the MoU in Accra on December 6, the Director in-charge of Operations at the GLNSL, Raymond Amaglo, said the partnership was to ensure smooth business operations as the two parties prepare to deploy the technology in The Gambia.
He said the successes chalked at improving efficiency at Ghana’s ports earned Ghana Link and its partner CUPIA the trust of The Gambian officials to select them to replicate the same infrastructure in that country.
“With the introduction of ICUMS, currently, the clearance of goods at the port has seen a rapid improvement when it comes to time.
“If you take advantage of our pre-manifest declaration clearance option, it enables you to make an application to Customs with your invoice, bill of lading and parking list way ahead of the arrival of the vessel. This has helped to clear cargo within a day.
“Secondly, there are a lot of cost savings, especially with the challenge of the exchange rate. For example, if your vessel will arrive in two months’ time and you are able to make payments today, you make cost savings on the exchange rate at the time of arrival.
“There is also a lot of transparency. All the stakeholders have all been connected to ICUMS. Whichever agency requires confirmation or authorisation is able to access it on the system,” he said.
The Chairman of the GLNSL, Nick Danso Adjei, expressed confidence that the system would help transform the trade facilitation landscape in the West African sub-region and the African continent by making African countries achieve the appropriate revenue at their various entry borders.
He stated that though there were some challenges during the initial implementation of the project, all the stakeholders were now satisfied with the performance of ICUMS.
He commended CUPIA for its unflinching support over the years, which had materialised into many success stories for Ghana Link Network Services.
The Chairman of CUPIA, Yoon-shik-Kim, also expressed excitement about the partnership and hoped for collaboration with Ghana Link Network Service Limited to implement the single-window technology in the ports of The Gambia.
He stated that the system would enhance revenue generation in the country as in the case of Ghana where the data shows customs revenue had increased by nearly 33 per cent during the two years of implementing the system at the ports.
“Taking foundation from this successful cooperation, we would like to take strong steps together toward a new future.
“Through close cooperation between the two organisations, we hope to contribute to the development of countries in Africa by supporting the modernisation of their customs administration.
“In addition, CUPIA would like to work with Ghana Link Network Services to find ways to contribute to the better livelihood of the people of Ghana.
“We are confident that today’s MoU will be a new model of cooperation between Ghana Link Network Service and CUPIA toward a better tomorrow,” he said.
The Deputy Director in-charge of Legal at the Gambia Revenue Authority, Ebrima Sallah, said The Gambia was keen on getting the project implemented swiftly as the government was finding ways to plug revenue leakages and enhance revenue mobilisation at the port.
“Revenue authorities are moving from the manual system to a more robust digital system to make sure that we collect revenue efficiently and boost revenue collection.
“So, when we have this, it will definitely boost our revenue collection system, and that is the objective of the revenue authority,” he said.