Stakeholders in the shipping and logistics industry, particularly importers, have been entreated to meticulously plan their imports and implement measures to ensure timely clearance of their goods, to avoid Uncleared Cargo List (UCL) classification.
The UCL is a classification system implemented by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to categorize goods based on their risk levels and facilitate smoother Customs clearance processes. Different risk levels are assigned to goods based on factors such as their nature, value, and potential security threats.
Goods placed on the UCL accrue additional costs borne by shippers, including possible demurrage and rent charges. Ghana Shippers’ Authority’s (GSA) port monitoring activities highlighted an increased number of shipments classified under the UCL.
Speaking at the 177th Ashanti Regional Shipper Committee meeting in Kumasi on Wednesday, 13th December 2023, Mr. John Glover, the Kumasi Branch Manager of the GSA, emphasized the organization’s collaboration with other state agencies to establish a committee to propose Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for UCL cargo administration. These SOPs will be integrated into the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), providing shippers with real-time updates on the status of their cargo. These initiatives aimed to alleviate challenges for importers and enhance overall shipping operations.
Mr. Glover outlined several challenges associated with UCL administration, including the denial of Shipping Lines’ access to containers for reuse, potential loss of demurrage after goods are auctioned, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) deprived of the appropriate tax amounts, operational disruptions at terminals, and the financial burden on Shipping Lines for the destruction of goods where necessary.
Participants sought clarification on procedures to employ when their goods are declared as UCL. Mr. Glover explained that the Shipper had a window of opportunity within which to reclaim and clear goods that had gone on UCL. He encouraged shippers in the region to visit the GSA’s offices on the 1st Floor of the National Communications Authority (NCA) building in Danyami-Kumasi, Ashanti region, or any of its Shipper Complaints and Support Units along the borders for assistance with such challenges.