Govt calls the bluff of freight forwarders on UNIPASS

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The government has insisted that it will not be liable for any judgment debt with the introduction of the UNIPASS system at the country’s ports.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry which signed on behalf of the government maintains that the new system is crucial for the blocking of all revenue leakages at the ports.

The UNIPASS is expected to replace all trade facilitation roles involving the clearing of goods and tracking of revenue at the ports, currently being carried out by GCNet and WestBlue.

The freight forwarders have complained of the distortions to their operations.

But a Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Carlos Ahenkorah tells Citi Business News they will not back down on their decision.

“The most important thing is UNIPASS is certainly going to come to pass but when that happens we will call on the termination or the expiry clauses of these contracts of the big players in the system now…we are going to ensure that there will be any judgement debt in Ghana with the roll out of UNIPASS,” he argued.

Carlos Ahenkorah storms press conference

Mr. Ahenkorah made the remarks at a press briefing organized by the GIFF to outline their concerns on the new clearing and revenue tracking process.

He had stormed the premises unknown to the organizers of the press encounter.

According to him, his association with the GIFF as a member equally made it necessary to attend the meeting to espouse concerns albeit he has answers from the government’s perspective.

The government insists that the UNIPASS is good for the country as it will also lead to a reduction of some port charges from 1% on a consignment of imported items to 0.75% on the same quantity of goods.

GIFF maintains stance on ‘bad deal’

Meanwhile the President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah explains that they will rather the government reviews the current agreement to suit the interest of all parties.

He fears that arguments of a drop in the cost of some port charges may not happen considering prevailing distribution model of the operational costs.

“This issue presents the government a glorious opportunity to want to renegotiate the terms of whatever agreement that the existing platforms have already…The UNIPASS system needs to come and run the process mapping, run and code the flow before we could work. So we ask the question why fix it when it is not broken? The IT solution that is being delivered to us today, we have no problem with them,” he stressed.

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana