The Vice President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Johnny Mantey, has urged shipping companies operating in Ghana to adhere to the principles of Instrument 2190 in their fees and practices.
The Ghana Shippers’ Authority Regulations 2012 (LI 2190) is the legal framework that obliges the GSA to regulate all fees and other issues related to maritime transport.
Mr Mantey spoke to the media about unfair treatment issues raised by freight forwarders, importers and exporters against shipping companies.
On the other hand, he said, while the various institutions in the Ghanaian shipping industry are using their tariffs for the inspection and regulations of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, the shipping companies are failing to comply.
The controversial port surcharge fees cannot be justified. These fees, which are levied by the shipping companies, among others, should be embedded in the freight charges.
He also complained about some administrative practices of the shipping companies operating in the country, emphasizing that if he unloads a container on Saturday, he would not be able to return the empty box to the shipping companies because they would not work on the weekend, although the customs department of The Ghana Revenue Authority ( GRA) works continuously, you will still be billed for.
“Today you can pay your customs duties at 2:00 am, 4:00 am, but you can’t do that with the shipping companies, their portals are closed at 2:00 pm,” he said, adding, “but they charge for demurrage on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, what did we do wrong as Ghanaians? “
For his part, Akwasi Serebour Boateng, an executive member of the Association of Customs House Agents, Ghana (ACHAG), said that shipping companies benefit from delays in the handling chain.
Mr. Boateng stressed that there was an incentive to postpone the release system because, in his opinion, âif you are able to make more money the more you stop me, why not hesitate?
He reiterated that they should be able to release or drop an empty box on the weekend system, but all these bureaucracies are there to make money from the system â.
He also expressed concern about the failure of the shipping companies to apply the Bank of Ghana standard exchange rates compared to other actors in the customs clearance chain.
âAs we speak, the Bank of Ghana exchange rate is around 5.9, but the shipping companies use 6.5 per dollar. There is no one to speak for us, so either pay or keep quiet, âhe said.
Nana Fredua Agyemang Ofori-Atta, Executive Secretary of the Committee of Freight Forwarders Association (CoFFA), said it was regrettable that all joint efforts by the actors in the Ghanaian sea trade to create a cost- and time-efficient port were being pushed through the actions of the shipping companies.
Nana Ofori-Atta said, on the other hand, while freight forwarders and other stakeholders try to avoid anything that would add to their costs in the clearing process, shipping lines have no incentive to pull the same line as they make money by slowing the process.
He therefore urged the Ghana Shippers Authority to do their best to help shippers and advised shipping companies to stop unnecessary delays and other additional costs in order to effectively contribute to the country’s port efficiency project.