Shippers have been sensitized on the benefits of insuring their cargo locally as part of government’s efforts to ensuring that Ghanaian Shippers are protected in their international trade transactions.
This was at the Central Regional Shipper Committee meeting held in Cape Coast and organized by the Ghana Shippers Authority.
Charles Sey, Head of Authority’s Takoradi Branch with oversight responsibility for the Western and Central Regions, reiterated the commitment of the Ghana Shippers Authority to ensure that shippers in Ghana are protected under the laws of Ghana to undertake their trading activities.
He cited the current efforts by the Ghana Shippers Authority and its partners, National Insurance Commission (NIC) and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to help reduce the risk to shippers when they suffer a loss or damage in the shipment of their cargoes, by placing their cargo insurance locally which is a requirement of the new insurance law.
Abdul Haki Bashiru-Dine, Senior Freight and Logistics Officer at the Ghana Shippers Authority in a presentation highlighted the importance of insuring cargo locally under the recently signed cargo insurance protocol by industry stakeholders.
He noted that only 6% of Ghana’s international trade of over GH¢76 billion in 2019, was insured locally. “The expectation is that the figure will further reduce to 4.5% based on provisional figures for 2020. This situation is not the best giving that shippers are too exposed to the international insurance market which does not necessarily promote their interest,” he said.
Also, he said, insuring cargo internationally has implications for the cedi’s stability and foreign exchange market and consequently has negative impact on shippers in terms of their trade cost which is already high.
The other benefits to shippers, if cargo are insured locally, include the ability to choose an insurer, payment of relatively cheaper premiums, quick and easy processing of claims when shippers suffer losses, strong regulatory oversight by NIC and Ghana Shippers Authority to ensure the right insurance policies are applied for various types of shipments.
“A well regulated and supervised insurance market also benefit shippers in terms of placement of cargo insurance providing protection and facilitation of international trade transactions for shippers in Ghana,” Mr. Bashiru-Dine said.
Additionally, he said the GRA will be able to rely on insurance values and consequently shippers would be competitive in their duty payments.
Mr. Bashiru-Dine said, as part of steps towards implementation of the protocol, sensitization exercises have been lined up across the various shipper committees of the Ghana Shippers Authority in the country and other key stakeholders in the shipping industry.
Kofi Andoh, Deputy Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission assured importers and exporters of the Commission’s commitment to ensure that all consumers of insurance get value for their money.
Mercy Boampong, Assistant General Manager of Enterprise Group assured importers and exporters in Ghana of adequate capacity of the insurance market to meet the demands of the shipping public. “Taking insurance locally will significantly offer protection for shippers because there will be certainty in the risk that is being covered,” she said.
Mrs. Boampong noted that the rate of insurance premiums for marine is usually between 0.25% and 1% of the value of the consignment. She therefore encouraged shippers to insure their cargo locally for their benefit and in compliance with the local insurance law.