Ahead of the August take-off date for the UNIPASS single window, Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Kim Sungsoo, has encouraged all stakeholders to play their respective roles well, to ensure the success of the project.
Kim Sungsoo is hopeful that “…the UNI-PASS when implemented will give efficient and tailor made system to provide a comprehensive national single window platform for Ghana to have its custom operation.”
Speaking at a short but impressive ceremony to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the modernization of Ghana’s Customs Service and that of the Korea Customs Service (KCS), Ambassador Sungoon noted that the collaboration between the two countries would also enhance best practices at the ports and ultimately impact positively on President Akufo-Addo’s agenda of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“Adding value to export from Ghana, digitizing and modernizing the economy as this MoU seeks to achieve are all geared towards achieving this agenda and the republic of Korea is proud to support such initiative,” he intimated.
The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, also touted the Korea customs UNI-PASS’s ranking as one of the top ten in the world, which had won many awards and currently serving as the only single window platform for the Korea government and many other countries.
He commended the chair of the economic management team, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, for following through to ensure that the introduction of the system received cabinet approval.
Commissioner General, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Emmanuel Kofi Nti, also said at the signing ceremony on Friday, April 5, in Accra, that the authority’s priority is to improve revenue mobilization by building capacity of staff, increasing surveillance and strengthening international ties.
He said “achieving all these requires learning from other institutions for benchmarking and best practices.”
“I am sure there are various measures which Korea Customs Service has applied and this led to significant improvement in revenue collection and GRA wish to tap in order to shore up revenue mobilization in the country,” he said.
Commissioner, Customs Division of the GRA, Isaac Crentsil, said the country’s customs has over the years adopted and undertaken several initiative including the use of the single window system with electronic documentation and the application of the paperless port clearing.
This, he said, had opened the country’s economy to the world as a gate way to doing business in ECOWAS Sub-region.
“The increased volumes of international trade have led to voluminous export and import transactions and activities … common sense therefore demands that Ghana looks for countries that can share idea and technology transfer,” he stated.
Commissioner, Korea Customs Service, Kim Young Moon, expressed delight at the finalization of the knowledge and technology transfer agreement between the two countries, adding that once the system is fully operational, there would be a lot of improvement in revenue collection.
The Agreement signed in Accra will give Ghana customs officers the opportunity to access various aspects of training as well as receive technology assistance, share data and updates on the customs front for the mutual benefit of the two countries.