Business News of Tuesday, 13 September 2016
The leadership of key business associations in the country who represent a critical mass of the shipping community have called for “heavy” sanctions against any shipping line that goes against the directive not to impose Terminal Handling Charges as a local cost on shippers.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA), Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) and the Greater Accra Regional Shipper Committee (GARSC) had argued that an attempt by any shipping line to impose THC as a local charge to shippers would be a “duplicated” cost.
The Ministry of Transport, acting on the report of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) on the matter, scrapped the introduction of Terminal Handling Charges (THC) as a local cost to shippers in the country on the grounds that no new service is being introduced by shipping firms in the ports to warrant such a charge.
Had the proposal been upheld, shippers in the country would have to cough out between US$140 and US$265 as the terminal handling charge for 20-foot and 40-foot containers respectively to have their consignments offloaded from the carting vessel.
The coalition of business associations in the country in a statement copied to the B&FT indicated: “We the coalition of associations remain resolute in collective solidarity and will strongly resist any attempt by any shipping line to impose the charge on importers and exporters.
We urge government to apply heavy sanctions against any shipping line that acts contrarily or attempts to impose such arbitrary charges on shippers.”
The statement also urged importers and exporters to report any shipping line who attempts to unduly impose THC or hold shippers’ cargo to their respective association with some evidence.