The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has expressed worry about the conduct of some shipping lines, including foreign ones, in the country, which was negatively affecting business transactions at the country’s ports.
The AGI lamented that these shipping lines were imposing terminal handling charges at the ports in contravention of directive issued by the Ministry of Transport, to abolish the charges.
The Chief Executive Officer of AGI, Mr. Seth Twum-Akoaboah, said that the Minister of Transport upon receiving a report on investigations carried out by the Ghana Maritime Authority on the matter, abolished the imposition of the charges in Ghana, on September 2, 2016.
He was speaking at a conference organised by the AGI at the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, in Tema.
Mr. Twum-Akoaboah noted that some shipping lines had blatantly defied the directive, and were imposing the charges on export and import transacting at the ports.
He warned that “we are sending signal to the shipping lines that we will not accept the charges. It must be withdrawn with immediate effect.”
Mr. Akoaboah noted that the conduct of the shipping lines defeated government’s efforts at reducing the cost of doing business at the ports through trade facilitation measures and infrastructure investments.
He said that terminal handling charges were already part of shipping cost, and its imposition locally amounted to duplication, which according to him was unfair and illegitimate.
Mr. Akoaboah said that the survival of businesses in the country was seriously threatened by the charges, and asked shipping lines in Ghana to respect rules and regulations of Ghana’s Maritime Industry.
“We are calling on the government and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to consider appropriate sanctions against these recalcitrant shipping lines.”
He mentioned MSC Ghana Limited, PIL Ghana Limited, CMA CGM Ghana Limited, Maersk Ghana Limited and Intermodal Shipping Agency Ghana Limited as shipping lines who had flouted the directive of the Transport Minister.
By Dennis Kwame Amegede