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Business News of Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Source: Class FM

Shippers Authority suspends demurrage charges


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The Ghana Shippers Authority has announced the suspension of demurrage/detention and rent charges at the ports beginning 30 March 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In other words, demurrage/detention and storage rent charges on all cargoes which have remain uncleared at the ports from 30 March 2020 to 19 April 2020 are to be waived.

In a statement in reaction to Transport Ministry directive for all applicable charges, including demurrage and storage rent charges to be suspended, the Shippers Authority said the decision is to ensure that shippers and other stakeholders do not take actions that may threaten government’s efforts at stemming the spread of the virus in their bid to avert the ‘accumulation of the time-related penalties.’

Continuing, it said: “The Ghana Ports and Harbours and other key stakeholders, including your outfit, have shown commitment and great sacrifice to ensure the clearance of import and export cargo through the ports in these difficult times, but unfortunately, a number of shippers have had to bear the brunt of the unintended consequences of the restrictions, which includes social distancing protocols. This has made it difficult for many of them to clear their cargo, within the stipulated time periods, resulting in huge demurrage and storage rent charges”.

“The Authority further notes that it is our firm belief that your compliance with this directive will be a further demonstration of your support to help rid the country of this deadly pandemic and getting our businesses back on the path of progress and prosperity.”

The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), last week petitioned the government to compel the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the shipping lines to refrain from claiming ‘demurrage and rent charges’ on cargo at the country’s ports during the period of the partial lock-down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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