Ghana Link Network Services Ltd (GLNS), a Ghanaian-owned trade facilitation company swept three awards at the just ended fourth edition of the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) Awards held in Accra.
The company was rewarded for its outstanding role in trade facilitation business with the deployment of ICUMS at country’s ports.
Ghana Link picked two awards in the categories of Excellence in Innovation and Technology and Trade Facilitation Organization of the year.
The final award won by the GLNS was given to the company’s Executive Chairman, Nick Danso as Personality of the Year.
Speaking at the ceremony aimed at recognizing achievements from local and international companies involved in the shipping sector in Ghana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms. Benonita Bismarck touted the efficiency of Ghana Link’s ICUMS software as having sanitized the goods clearance process at the ports and promoted the ease of doing business at Ghana’s harbours.
She explained that the award was to provide a platform to recognize individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability.
According to her, the awards which cut across road transportation, ocean carriers, air transportation, freight forwarding, shipping agents, express services, courier agencies, government agencies, insurance and financial institutions were aiming to recognise distinction in the field, and also to promote the interests of the industry – nationally and internationally.
The programme which was under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport was in partnership with the Ghana Shippers Authority and supported by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) was under the theme “The Digital Maritime and Shipping Industry: Impact on our Economy.”
It also rewarded personalities that played a defining role in moving the shipping industry forward which the Deputy Minister of Transport, Fredrick Obeng Adom showered praises on ICUMS as having been a major break through for Ghana’s port in terms of revenue mobilization as well as trade facilitation.
He mentioned Government’s intent on reducing taxes in the shipping industry to help in the trade facilitation drive.
In February this year, a team of stakeholders comprising of GPHA, GSA and Customs Division of GRA, toured some ports in the sub region- Dakar, Lome, Abidjan and Nigeria on port charges and other fees with the aim of giving Ghana a parity in the structure of port charges and shipping services.
Government has received the report and it is receiving the needed attention of the economic management team, the deputy minister stated.
Ghana Link Network Services Ltd was incorporated in 2001 and initially went into the business of destination inspection in 2003 and continued to expand on its product lines around cross border trade and continue to evolve.
GLNS in partnership with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority spearheaded the implementation of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) under the framework of the UNIPASS solution, an end-to-end trade facilitation, cargo inventory management, security protection and Revenue enhancement solution.
ICUMS was born out of a strategic partnership between GLNS CUPIA to provide solutions to government’s revenue drive. In order for a country to facilitate trade, maximize and ultimately optimize revenue collection as well as ensure safety and security at the borders, it needs a comprehensive and modern trade facilitation solution to manage these functions effectively and efficiently.
It is a modern and world-class technology acknowledged by international bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Bank, and World Economic Forum (WEF), which is used to facilitate trade, ensure supply chain security and increase revenue.
ICUMS also offers importers and exporters an integrated system of filing all documents and helps businesses to send information regarding consignment simultaneously to each agency concerned for swift response in trade facilitation.
It is important to point out that ICUMS provides all stakeholders the ability to access relevant information as well as able to check the status of the cargo at each stage of the cargo clearance chain.
The deployment of the ICUMS has covered all customs regimes and processes for sea, air, land import, export and transit-related transactions.
The aim of the ICUMS is to continue to build strong partnership with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as well as other stakeholder to organise cross –border trade information and appropriately make it available to all users for the purpose of revenue collection enhancement, protection of National Security, as well as facilitation of genuine trade.
In the past months since the nationwide deployment of ICUMS, revenue collection has increased significantly compare to the previous regime.
By Vincent Kubi