Freighters petition gov’t over extra charges

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Photo: President of Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Mr. Edward Akron

The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) has raised concerns that its members and the trading community are being charged extra fees due to avoidable delays in the clearance of goods at the ports.

GIFF has therefore written to the government through the office of Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, asking for an intervention – and suggested that the acceptable grace period for clearing imports should be extended. They argue that government must waive some delays-related fees and charges at the ports.

GIFF, in a letter signed by its National President Mr. Edward Akron and addressed to the government, mentioned charges including state warehouse rent charges, GPHA terminal rent charges, demurrage to the shipping lines, terminal rent charges, ground-handlers, storage charges at the airport, truck demurrage at land frontiers and other charges.

The letter addressed to Senior Minister Yaw-Osafo Maafo noted that: “The above fees are chargeable only after one has breached an allowable grace period; our appeal is therefore based on the fact that the new normal of ICUMS and the drag it has introduced makes it the rule now for clearance to go way beyond allowable grace periods”.

The letter further noted: “To this end, we the members of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders – having had extensive engagement with the importing and trading community, have resolved to appeal first to your good self to cause to be suspended State Warehouse Rent Charges, cause to be suspended Interest Charges; and empanel a committee under the remit of the Ghana Shippers Authority to review downward all the other fees or review upward the allowable grace periods, taking into consideration all other interests”.

The GIFF president, in his letter, appealed to the Office of the Senior Minister to consider the concerns and suggestions raised as “extremely important and representative of the views of solution seekers on the ground.”

GIFF said it has suffered the sad situation in silence since the deployment of the new system, and it made that unbearable sacrifice because it “did not want to raise the temperature unnecessarily, to allow space for this new system to thrive.”                           

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