Freight forwarders threaten to divert shipment to other countries

Business News of Thursday, 26 February 2015


Tema Port Container

Some freight forwarders in Tema have threatened to divert their shipments to other countries if the Ghana Shippers Authority does not rescind its decision to implement the Advance Shipment Information System (ASHI).

The Ghana Shippers Authority will on March 1, 2015 introduce the ASHI which seeks to reduce the incidence of payments of high rent and demurrage charges at the country’s ports.

But the freight forwarders say the new system is unfair. ‘’All the benefits the Ghana Shippers Authority claim ASHI is going to give us, we already have it for free and some at a cost; if government mean well, they should have met all stakeholders under one umbrella for us to pinpoint the challenges at the ports and let government know we don’t need the ASHI.’’Dennis Amfo Sefah, Chairman of Occupy Ghana Shippers Authority, who are members of Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders told Citi Business News.

The group also adds that the Ghana Shippers Authority has become authoritative and is trying to push programs on exporters and importers at the ports.

They are also threatening not to pay duties for two days until government calls the Shippers Authority to order. Failure to do so will see them forfeit duty payment for a week.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Shippers Authority has told Citi Business News it will apply sanctions as stipulated by law to any importer or exporter who refuses to comply with the Advance Shipment Information System.

Spokesperson for the Ghana Shippers Authority, Fred Asiedu- Dartey in an interview with Citi Business News said even though no one is overly obsessed with applying sanctions, the authority will not hesitate to institute punitive actions on importers who flout the law.

‘’In fact if anyone decides either willingly or not to comply, the law prescribes sanctions unless of course we don’t intend to implement the law, the sanctions will apply.’’ He stressed.