The new trade facilitation tool, the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) deployed by the government at the ports and frontiers, is said to have generated some ¢1,929,481,409.5 billion as at July 11, 2020.

This was revealed by the Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei.

The Commissioner-General of the GRA during an earlier press conference last month pointed out that prior to the full switch over to the new ICUMS platform, its predecessor, the National Single Window System operated by GCNet in partnership with West Blue Consulting, was generating a monthly average amount of GH¢940 million.

Board Chairman of the GRA, Professor Adei, in his first public comment about the ICUMS, spoke highly of the currently deployed port management system.

Prof Adei, speaking in an interview on Accra-based Joy FM, described ICUMS as a much better system than the previous system manned by the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNET).

His assertion, according to him, is based on the revenue generated by ICUMS despite reduced imports at Ghana’s land and sea ports due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are getting better results because in May and June alone, even under Covid-19 there was far more collection of revenue than previously collected under the old system,” he said. 

“On average, the revenue collected is about GH¢800 million, but just last month we had about GH¢1.2 billion and this is even under reduced imports due to the pandemic. And I’m happy to say that despite Covid-19, our end of May revenue was only 8.6 percent below the target,” he added. 

Speaking further on the show, he asserted that the jump in the revenue collection due to the effectiveness of the ICUMS, shows that the country was losing a lot of revenue in the old system and that the resistance mounted against the introduction of ICUMS was due to the fact that ‘some people’ were afraid of getting ‘exposed.’

Prof Adei, who admitted to some challenges faced by the new system, noted that the challenges were being resolved and the outcomes were promising. 

“We have challenges but they are being resolved and the results so far are promising, we are doing our best for God and country,” he noted.

Data available also shows the performance of the ICUMS in June at some borders to be impressive. At the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), import duty revenues for June stood at GH¢55.4 million and was up 20 percent over the GH¢46 million generated in June 2019, when trade activities were not curtailed by travel and trade restrictions.

The data further suggested that revenues are rising sharply by the month. For instance, revenue from the Aflao land border for June was GH¢4,718,082.8, up from just GH¢791,183.50 recorded in March when ICUMS was rolled out at the land borders.

Again, revenue generated in June 2020 from Elubo was GH¢4,038.105.31, also up from GH¢637,462.78 in March 2020. 

In Accra at the Jamestown Customs office in March 2020, some GH9,523,556 was raised in June this year.