The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has reverted to its original revenue collection target of Ghs 47.2 billion for 2020 after revising it down to Ghs 42.7 billion earlier due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move to go back to the original target, according to the revenue collector, is due to the impressive performance of the newly introduced Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) in March, 2020, which has consistently exceeded its monthly and quarterly targets.
Recent data from the GRA show that in the past three months (July 1 – September 26) the deployment of ICUMS at the country’s ports and frontiers has raked in Ghs 3.65 billion.
The figure is Ghs 825.88 million higher than the Ghs 2.82 billion mobilised in the same period last year and Ghs 388.31 million higher than the July-September 2018 revenue of Ghs 3.26 billion.
The revenue items comprise import duty and levies, import VAT, import NHIL, import GETFund levy, total imports and petroleum tax. Between March and August, ICUMS had generated Ghs 4.6 billion; this was part of the Ghs 6.9 billion collected by the Customs Division of the GRA between January and August 2020.
“From the above trajectory, the GRA is hoping to meet its original target set at the beginning of the year. The authority had their target revised to with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic but we are optimistic that the original target can be met,” Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner General of the GRA, said.
Alan Kyerematen showers praises
The remarkable achievement of the new system led to Trade Minister, Alan Kyerematen, showering praises on the revenue collector and the implementation of the new system, noting that the higher revenue margins the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been recording since the introduction of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) in March, over the same period last year, cannot be a fluke.
According to him, the positive strides being realised amidst the challenges imposed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 is testament to the fact that the system would offer the nation higher revenue to propel economic growth while enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.
“The lawyers will say the matter is speaking for itself and the system is bearing its own testimony. It cannot be by chance that you introduce a new system in such a complicated national environment, particularly with the challenge of COVID, and then achieve your target, it cannot happen by chance.
So it’s a combination of the blessing of the almighty God and also of the intrinsic value of the system that has been introduced,” the minister said at a stakeholder engagement organised by the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) sector of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority in collaboration with the management of ICUMS.
Emmanuel Ohene, Assistant Commissioner of Customs, who is the head of ICUMS project, in a presentation to journalists, noted that ICUMS had processed more than 193,000 Bills of Entry (BOEs) from March to August 2020.
He noted that the Pre-Manifest Declaration (PMD) constituted 86.71 percent and 46.02 percent of BOE exited. According to him, Tema Collection processed 47.07 percent, KIA Collection – 16.07 percent, Aflao – 9.67 percent, and Bolga – 9.15 percent.
Specifically, for the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), despite the challenges with the initial utilization of the system and the impact of COVID-19 on trading activities, the airport was able to generate GH¢53.6 million in June and GH¢71.6 million in July which represents a 15.2 percent and 22.6 percent respective increase over last year’s revenue collection for the two months.