Ghana Union of Traders Association wants port authorities to Halt Charges
- The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) wants port authorities to halt demurrage and rent charges amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
- GUTA laments failed attempts to communicate the need for the halt of charges with the Ghana Port and Harbors Authority (GPHA) and shipping line owners through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ghana Shippers Authority.
- GUTA called on the government to request that only shipments that are part of critical goods be cleared while all others be kept until the end of the lockout.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has expressed their desire for port authorities to halt demurrage and rent charges due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
GUTA reported that they had attempted to communicate with the Ghana Port and Harbors Authority (GPHA) and shipping line owners through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ghana Shippers Authority to waive the charges but that has yielded no results.
A statement signed by the President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, read “ It is quite unfortunate that persistent calls through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Shippers Authority to the shipping lines and GPHA to waive the demurrage and rent charges at this very crucial time in the life of this country is proving futile.”
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“We are therefore calling on the government to strongly appeal to the Shipping lines and GPHA to give unconditional waivers to demurrage and rent charges during this period of the lock-down so that together we all achieve the aim of fighting this pandemic,” the statement added.
This is coming after the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA) confirmed that despite the restrictions of movement clearance of all types of goods at the country’s seaports will continue.
But the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) said most of their businesses are being closed because of the partial lock-down in Greater Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi. He said the shutdown made it impossible for them to sell and make money so that they can pay the duties on their goods.
“It is very sad that while most of our members cannot move out freely because they are all adhering to the restrictions announced by the government, the shipping lines are asking that since they are still working, our members whose goods have arrived at the ports should clear them or pay demurrage if the containers continue to remain at the ports during this lockdown period,” the statement noted.
GUTA also called on the government to request that only shipments that are part of critical goods be cleared while all others be kept until the end of the lockout.
They clarified that this would be done “quickly so that our members are not forced to clear their goods and open their shops and warehouses to offload their goods.”
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