Customs deploys system to enhance passenger travel

BY: Della Russel Ocloo & Maclean Kwofi
Mr Clyde Adjei (4th from left), Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Link Network Services Limited; Mr Elvis Darko (5th from left), Team Lead, PJN, and members of the association
Mr Clyde Adjei (4th from left), Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Link Network Services Limited; Mr Elvis Darko (5th from left), Team Lead, PJN, and members of the association

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is set to roll out the pre-arrival passenger information system for passengers arriving at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in the first quarter of 2022.

This follows the introduction of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) as part of the phase two of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), a single window platform in deployment for cargo clearance at the country’s ports.

The system will see data on flight details and passenger biographic data being transmitted to the border control agencies in the destination country prior to departure to enhance easy travel for passengers coming into the country.

According to the Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Link Network Services, Mr Clyde Adjei, other modules, such as post-clearance audit (PCA), electronic wallet, simplified clearance/postal and courier modules, were being introduced to ensure ease of doing business for the public.

He said other features would enable customs to undertake investigations by way of easy data recall, customs laboratory activities, duty drawback, performance management, state warehouse management, surveillance and electronic auction modules.

Training

Speaking at a media training on the ICUMS implementation for members of the Port Journalists Network (PJN) in Accra last Friday, Mr Adjei observed that the second phase would further improve revenue collection, block loopholes and make clearing at the ports and other entry points seamless and stress-free.

He said although Ghana Link had been successful with the rollout of the first phase of ICUMS, it continued to offer training to all stakeholders as it prepared to roll out phase two of the project.

“It is with this background that we have decided to enhance your capacity to fully appreciate and embrace the system to help in the effective and responsible reporting on ICUMS for the public.

“I trust that this exercise will be the beginning of our friendship or relationship of mutual benefit, which will lead to the media here in this room supporting Ghana Link to communicate our work to the public and help us receive feedback from users of the ICUMS system, with most of whom you interact daily,” he said.

That, he explained, would enable Ghana Link to continuously improve the system for it to become the best port clearance system in Africa in the area of trade facilitation and most importantly help in revenue mobilisation in the best interest of the country.

“I hope you find this training useful; I do assure you that our doors are open for you to reach us anytime if you have questions or challenges in the area of our work,” he said.

Better understanding

The Team Lead of the PJN, Mr Elvis Darko, said the network sought to build the capacity of its members for them to have a better understanding of the maritime sector.

“It is also to ensure that when we write our reports, we put every issue in the right perspective or we do not wrongly report on issues simply because we do not have a better understanding of the sector.

“And so today we are happy that Ghana Link is organising this training for us,” he said.

He said the ports were the single largest source of revenue generation for the country, hence the need for all stakeholders to support its growth.