Business News of Monday, 5 September 2016
Clearing Agents are calling on government to replicate a similar sense of urgency it employed in halting the implementation of the TerminalHandling Charges in scrapping other import charges and taxes.
Government has ordered for shipping lines to withdraw the Handling Charges introduced at the country’s ports in August.
This follows recent agitations by several business associations against the charges. In a statement, the Transport Minister, Fiifi Kwetey noted among other reasons the charges cannot apply since the shipping lines have not introduced any new service.
Some Clearing Agents at the Tema Port tell JOY BUSINESS, the move is a wake-up call for similar charges and levies to be reviewed.
“The person can be able to pay the duty but the other related charges like demurrage and handling charges and we have complained severally,” one agent said adding “Nobody was ready to do anything about it and government does not care.”
Another agent said it is a serious issue to them because when the goods arrive at the Ports, the importers do not have the money to clear them.
“While the goods sit in the container at the ports it attracts demurrage so even when you cannot clear your things you are accruing more charges,” another agent told JOY BUSINESS.
“Some of the importers come to see us for loans to clear their goods on time which takes a toll on everyone. All this is because the taxes on goods are too high,” the agent added.
The agent said once the importers for all these charges, they will transfer the cost to the consumer otherwise they won’t make anything on what they imported into the country.