The Transport Ministry is set to meet with shipping companies over the charging of Terminal handling fees at the ports on goods imported into the country.
The meeting which will be at the behest of the Transport Minister Fiifi Kwetey, follows the submission of a report on the THC by the Ghana Maritime Authority. “I have received a report from the Ghana Maritime Authority on the THC and it is being studied.
I’ll soon reconvene a meeting with the stakeholders in order to bring a final resolution to the impasse in a way that will be acceptable to all parties that are involved,” Mr. Kwetey stated. Importers and freight forwarders have complained about the continuous implementation of the charges despite a directive from the sector minister for the shipping companies to suspend the act.
According to the businesses, the continuous imposition costs shippers about 78 million dollars annually. Even though the Transport Ministry has sanctioned that the charges be suspended, importers and freight forwarders tell Citi Business News the shipping lines have defied the order.
“I was told point blank that the shipping lines are not doing any refund and my receipts are still with me as I am talking to you. As at now they are not making any refund.
The only thing they [shipping lines] are doing is that they are not charging for those whose ships on board are above 19th July,” a freight forwarder, Kofi Sarkodie told Citi Business News.
Meanwhile Transport Minister Fiifi Kwetey believes the discussions will lead to an amicable solution to the impasse.
“The directive from the Ministry of Transport is still in force pending a resolution of the impasse,” he added.
Ghana Shippers Authority inaugurates news facility
Transport Minister, Fiifi Kwetey made the remarks at the inauguration of the Ghana Shippers’ House for the Ghana Shipper’s Authority.
The newly inaugurated structure will accommodate the Authority’s head office, a maritime arbitration centre, as well as a ship brokerage hall which is expected to facilitate the creation of a freight market in West and Central Africa.
Speaking at the ceremony, the CEO of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Dr. Kofi Mbeah was hopeful the facility will facilitate the Authority’s readiness and preparedness to assist all shipping lines and agencies in their line of duty.
“This facility will help us serve shipper better as there will be a dedicated hall for receiving and addressing shipper complaints and providing them with information that matter to their businesses,” he stated.