The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has begun using the newly Integrated UNIPASS system at the Tema Port and other entry points. This is in spite of the strong opposition against the new platform by some stakeholders in the import and export business as well as some civil society groups.
This was communicated in an official statement signed and issued by the GRA’s acting Commissioner-General, Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, on Monday, April 27, 2020. It said the deployment takes effect from Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
But why has government not heeded to the advise against the UNIPASS system and gone ahead to implement it? Here are key reasons why the UNIPASS is a far better option than GCNet.
UNIPASS system is an e-Customs system introduced by the government to provides swift customs clearance, seal the leaking revenue basket and facilitate trade at the country’s ports.
The system was developed by the Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) of South Korea. It comes to replace an older system which was run collectively by Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) and Customs World of Dubai (formerly known as West Blue).
Following its digital nature, the UNIPASS system fits perfectly into the digitization agenda and paperless system the government intends for the economy.
In comparison with the older platforms managed by GCNet and West Blue, the UNIPASS system surpasses the latter in terms advantages.
UNIPASS has an exclusive tracking system for all cargos which identifies each cargo using a unique reference number. It also has a standby HR management model that identifies which officer worked on a particular cargo and at what particular time he or she did. If for any reason, some goods get missing or a cargo is lost, tracing it becomes very simple.
Furthermore, unlike the earlier existing ones, the UNIPASS system offers an end-to-end system which does not allow anyone tamper with figures on it, as was characteristic of the previous system. This encryption system will go along way to protect the national basket.
Additionally, the organization providing the UNIPASS service to Ghana, is one of great repute. Customs UNIPASS International Agency (CUPIA) is constantly ranked among the top 10 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking on the Trading across Borders criteria.
This is clear demonstration of the positive impact the UNIPASS system has had around the globe and the transferrable economic growth it can have on the Ghanaian economy.
UNIPASS presents a comprehensive and easy to use system to the Ghanaian market. The UNIPASS e-Customs system is divided into various components with accompanying subsets to provide an easy to use, adaptable functional system to diversified economies like Ghana’s without compromising international standards.
UNIPASS undoubtedly is the long awaited ‘saviour’ of the country’s leaking revenue basket.
By Edwin Abdul-Jaleel Abanga
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