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Business News of Monday, 20 April 2020


Transport Ministry directs suspension of demurrage charges at ports

The Ghana Shippers Authority has been ordered to suspend all applicable charges The Ghana Shippers Authority has been ordered to suspend all applicable charges

The Ministry of Transport has directed the Ghana Shippers Authority to suspend all applicable charges, including demurrage or detention and storage rent charges on cargo which have remained uncleared since the partial lockdown came into effect on 30 March 2020.

This directive it believes will ensure shippers and other stakeholders do not take actions that may jeopardise government’s efforts at curbing the spread of the virus, on the basis of averting the accumulation of costs in the clearance of their cargoes.

In a statement signed by the sector minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, it said: “It is important to state that the Ports are still open for business, but all stakeholders must ensure that the safety protocols advised by the Health Authorities to stem the spread of COVID-19 are strictly adhered to.”

Further, it is the understanding of the Ministry that a number of unintended consequences have resulted from the current state of affairs.

For instance, the statement said, while some peculiar circumstances have prevented some shippers from clearing their cargoes from the ports, others have also encountered some challenges in the process.

The effect of this development and the far-reaching consequences on the shipping public, the Minister said may altogether defeat the fight against the novel COVID-19.

President Akufo-Addo in one of his COVID-19 pandemic measures announced restrictions on the movements of people within the Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and Kasoa area to curb the further spread of the disease.

Consequently, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, in collaboration the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and other key stakeholders took steps to ensure the continuous operations of the two main seaports - Tema and Takoradi with the view to ensure regular supply of goods.