IEAG fights unapproved port charges

Business News of Friday, 10 March 2017



Tema Port 620x330File Photo

Business operators at the ports have expressed worry about the hikes in fares by some shipping lines at the ports.

According to them, these shipping lines are taking advantage of the scrapping of the one per cent special import levy to charge unapproved fares.

It would be recalled that, last year, business associations at the ports complained about increased terminal handling charges by shipping lines. The move was, however, halted by a directive from former President John Mahama.

But in an interview with Class Business, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Sampson Awingobit, said the shipping lines were charging some unapproved fares which were negatively affecting their operations.

He, therefore, called on government to intervene.

“The shipping lines are charging certain charges that if you go to other places like Ivory Coast, Togo, and Nigeria, we don’t think they collect those charges that the shipping line companies charge in this country,” he stated.

He gave an example: “If one is taking off a container, there is a mandatory deposit. Any importer who is leaving the port with his container to go and offload the goods into his warehouse or store before they return, the container deposits a compulsory fee of GHS500. Others are taking GHS200 and GHS300. Again, you have to do what they call a deposit fee of GHS1400 or GHS1500.

Mr Awingobit further explained that when the importers go to offload their goods in their warehouses and return the container but are unable to offload the containers from the truck even at the shipping yard, they are penalised. “And these are the charges that we think are uncalled for and we think government will have to intervene,” he said.