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Business News of Thursday, 30 June 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Exporters kick against weighing of containers by GSA

The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has appealed to government to entrust the implementation of weighing containers at the ports to the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and not the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

The exporters argued that the GMA is the sole authority responsible for the safety of goods and life at sea, hence it will be prudent to hand over the activity to them.

Per the International Maritime Organization law, the Ghana Maritime Authority is solely responsible for weighing containers and maintaining safety at the ports.

However, the exporters fear the GSA will be placed in charge of the exercise. According to them, the GSA may not be able to rightly take care of issues compared to the GMA.

Speaking to Citi Business News, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson Asaki Awingobit said government should must hand over the exercise to the rightful authority to prevent misapplication of duties.

“It is about Marine and the law for weighing of containers before loading with the goods for exports is clear. It is solely under International Maritime Authority and for that matter the authority that is supposed to implement such a policy should be the Ghana Maritime Authority and not Ghana Standards Authority,” he stressed. He stated that the GSA was responsible for standardization which is clearly different from what the GMA is required to do.

“We think that we would want to place our hope in the hands of the Ghana Maritime Authority. It is safer, it is good than to entrust it unto the Ghana Standards Authority. It is not about standardization,’’ he said. GSA replies exporters

Meanwhile, the GSA has justified government’s decision to allow the authority to handle the implementation of weighing containers at the ports.

Speaking to Citi Business News, the spokesperson of the Ghana Standards Authority, Mr. Amponsah Bediako maintained that the GSA is the appropriate outfit to carry out the exercise at the ports.

“They have got it wrong because the International Maritime Authority will have to ensure safety. Now how do you ensure safety? By weighing all containers that are to be loaded up our ships. If that is the case, then you go to the competent authority and the competent authority here is the Ghana Standards Authority,” he argued.

He stated that is clearly misplaced for any organization to take away the legal mandate of the GSA. “For anybody to say that Ghana Standards Authority does not qualify then they do not know what is going on. The law has set us up to do this,” he said.