The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and South Korea Customs Service (KCS) on Friday, 5th April 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for knowledge sharing and capacity building of Ghanaian officers on Uni-Pass Trade Facilitation and Customs Management System.
The capacity building is part of the GRA’s efforts at digitising its revenue mobilisation systems to shore up revenue generation.
When implemented, the Uni-Pass would offer an efficient and tailor-made system to provide a comprehensive national single window platform for the country to help boost the operations of the Customs Division of the GRA.
Mr Emmanuel Kofi-Nti, the Commissioner-General of GRA, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Authority while Mr Kim Young Moon, Commissioner of South Korea Customs, signed for his outfit at a brief ceremony in Accra.
Mr Kofi-Nti explained that the priority of GRA was to improve revenue mobilization by building the capacity of staff, increase surveillance and strengthen international ties.
He said the KCS had applied various measures leading to a significant improvement in revenue collection and that the GRA would tap into them to shore up revenue mobilisation.
“Achieving all these requires learning from other institutions for benchmarking and best practices,” he said.
Mr Isaac Crentsil, the Commissioner, Customs Division of GRA, stated that the system would help modernise GRA’s operations in the scheme of things.
He said the adoption of the Pre-Arrival Assessment and Reporting Systems, the implementation of the Single Window System, coupled with the paperless Port clearing system, had opened the economy to international trade.
“This, therefore, calls for digitization to be able to cope with the required standards and practices in trade facilitation and to be able to attract and promote foreign investment,” he said.
Mr Kim Sungsoo, the South Korean Ambassador to Ghana, on his part, reiterated the crucial role Customs played to economic development, hence the need for proper management, especially through technology.
“This will not only simply help in revenue generation for the country but also for future efficiency and transparency of Customs Service administration,” he said.
The Ambassador said trade experts had forecasted that the Government’s vision of rapid industrial transformation required a more robust Customs management system to promote export trade and improve revenue mobilisation.
He said Uni-Pass was the best holistic and comprehensive customs systems to boost trade facilitation and customs management.
This technology, currently, serves as the e-government platform for the Republic of Korea and is also being implemented in several countries.
The collaboration, he said, would support the President’s signature Agenda dabbed: ‘Ghana beyond Aid’, which seeks to conscientize Ghanaians on developing their own country through the use of the country’s resources rather than reliance on foreign aid.
It may be recalled that there has been a lot of news around revenue generation for the country and the fact that there is still quite a huge deficit. It has been estimated that only 2% of informal sector in the Ashanti region pay taxes. Although the Vice President in his recent address alerted that the country exceeded their revenue targets, there is a lot of room for improvement in the sector.