Key business organizations in the country have called for all shipping lines that flouted the Transport Minister’s directive asking them to halt charging the Terminal Handling Charges to be sanctioned.
Transport Minister Fiifi Kwetey directed all shipping lines in the country to stop charging the Terminal Handling Charges which is a newly introduced clearing charge from the 2nd September this year.
Despite the directive 5 shipping lines MSC Ghana, PIL Ghana, CMA CGM Ghana, Maersk Ghana and Intermodal Shipping Agency Ghana are reported to still be charging the fees and flouting the Ministers directives.
The AGI which one of 11 business associations protesting the development says the shipping lines must be sanctioned and must not be allowed to do business in the country because they have no respect for the Ghana’s laws and authorities.
The other business organizations are the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Ghana Union of Traders Association, Private Enterprise Federation, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters, Ghana Root Crops and Tubers Exporters Union, Greater Accra Regional Shipper Committee, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Food and Beverage Association of Ghana, Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana and Custom Brokers Association of Ghana.
Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah tells Citi Business News all importers who have made any THC payment to any shipping line after the Ministers directive for its abolishment should put in claims of refund with the Shipping line or agency.
He adds that the THC is embodied in the ocean freight that the shippers pay to Shipping lines, and consequently the THC as a local charge amounts to a duplicated fee which must not be encouraged.
“We are calling on the Minister to ensure the laws of our country Ghana are well respected by the Shipping lines who are needlessly cashing on the Ghanaian business person.”
Mr Akwaboah added that “it is inappropriate for Shipping lines to use such illegitimate means to impose such cost on Shippers in the country who are already paying administrative fees of over USD 160.00 per TEU which amounts to over USD 83 million per year to these Shipping lines and agents without justification’.
However some of the stakeholders who were present told Citi Business News that the Ghana Shippers Authority which has authority over such matters must go to court to place an injunction on the Shipping lines restraining them from further charging the unapproved fees.
“This is clearly within the domain of the Ghana Shippers Authority and they must act as soon as possible to stop these recalcitrant Shipping lines from further collecting the illegal charge”.
By: Elvis Washington/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana