The prices of imported goods are expected to go up by at least five percent from January 2018.
The hikes are expected to take off next year when some port tariffs are reviewed upwards.
The review, Citi Business News understands is expected to see between 5 and 20 percent rise in the affected tariffs, some of whom are already indexed to the dollar.
The Vice President of the Ship Owners’ and Agents Association (SOAA), Adam Imoro Ayaana explains that the price hikes are to reduce the burden on shippers and importers.
“It is part of the cost so obviously I’m sure these charges would affect the overall freight rate, and as it comes up now then it’s increasingly relevant that shipping rates are itemized so that everyone would have a clear view, because we want to bring visibility. So I don’t know if this would bring back the issue,” he stated.
The rise in some port tariffs comes on the back of a revision by the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA).
According to officials, the change has become necessary as it has been almost four years since the GPHA last reviewed its tariffs.
In line with this, the GPHA is set to engage the Ship Owners and Agents Association as well as the Ghana Shippers Authority.
Mr. Ayana also indicated that the GPHA has written to his outfit and that they are studying they are currently studying the proposals.
In his view, this should culminate in deliberations to see the way forward.
“We’re waiting for them, we want to have a dialogue with them to understand where they’re coming from. Because if you increase a dollar rated item I don’t know if it has to do with inflation or cost or there’s something behind it.”
Following discussions with the shippers, the GPHA will also meet the importers and exporters, freight forwarders as well as GUTA for final inputs and subsequent implementation.
Even before the implementation date, some consumers believe the decision to transfer prices unto them may be a misplaced one.
Arguments are premised on the fact that any such decision could only be effective when the tariffs so affected are permitted by law to be transferred to consumers to offset the potential rise in cost of operation for the importers or shippers.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana