Business News of Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Source: Citi FM

Freight forwarders call for ban on arbitrary cargo charges

Charges on imports and exports of goods into and from Ghana by air and particularly by sea have soared significantly and this will hurt the country’s competitive edge among its peers in the sub region, according to the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF).

GIFF wants arbitrary cargo related charges at the country’s ports and airports banned to rectify the situation.

According to the institute though the fees as charged are for actual services provided, no evidence for such service provision has been established or recognised.

The institute also argued in its latest report on the ‘impact of arbitrary cargo related charges on the cost of doing business’, that there is no statutory support for the charges.

Apart from the regular taxes and duties charged, the GIFF has stated that there are other charges which have no contractual, legal or policy backing.

These include shippers’ notification forms levy, air Ghana’s administrative charge, royalty charge by AVIANCE, off- dock terminals transfer charges, MPS’ lift on and off fees and a nomenclature of fees referred to as container administrative fees.

Ghana records one of the highest freight costs among her peers in the sub region.

The Tema port for instance according to the GIFF charges about $500 in taxes for services while the same services will attract about $200 at the Lome port.

The GIFF attributed the lack of structure in the cargo tariff system of Ghana and ineffective regulation and policy to the hikes.