Shipping lines urged by Ghana Shippers’ Authority to ensure transparency in tariff charges
The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has requested shipping lines operating at the country’s sea borders to ensure clarity and transparency in their tariff charges on container shipments.
The request by the GSA follows sustained allegations by some maritime and trade associations that shipping lines are engaging in arbitrary increases in fees and charges.
“Negotiations with shipping lines on their charges revealed a plethora of inexplicable charges, some shipping lines were engaged in blacklisting clearing agents for outstanding debts on previous transactions. These actions were detrimental to innocent consignees who subsequently had to make colossal demurrage payments and have equally impacted the rising costs of doing business at Ghana’s ports,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismarck at the Cocoa Negotiation Conference in Accra on September 10.
A number of trade associations in the maritime industry, including freighters, importers and exporters have bemoaned what they describe as arbitrary increases in cost of freight and associated service charges by shipping lines.
But the liners have responded that the increases reflect the harsh impact of the pandemic across the shipping value chain.
Currently, over 8,000 containers are estimated to be on the uncleared cargo list – a category for goods that have overstayed at the ports but the applicable duties on them have not been paid, and they may have to be auctioned to recoup the rent and other associated costs to the state.