Accra, Aug. 1, GNA – Scores of Ghanaian shippers, including importers and exporters, has rejected the proposed Terminal Handling Charge (THC) by some shipping lines operating to and from the seaports of Ghana.
A communiqué signed after an emergency meeting by the various stakeholders and copied to the Ghana News Agency revealed that the Terminal Handling Charge would have a negative impact on shippers in the country.
It said the THC was already embodied in the ocean freight that shippers paid to shipping lines, and consequently its introduction as a local charge would amount to duplication which was unfair and illegitimate.
It said the payment of THC as an isolated local charge to the shipping lines was completely alien to the practice of shipping in Ghana, since terminal operators already charged shippers the THC for cargo handling services.
The communiqué noted that if introduced, the THC would cost the already burdened Ghanaian shippers over 78 million dollars per year and, knowing the history of these local charges, the figure would definitely increase astronomically overtime.
“We are craving Government’s indulgence to intervene in this injustice against the people of Ghana since this is completely unjustifiable and will only bring undue cost to businesses.
“Government must caution shipping companies who have given notice of the introduction of the THC in Ghana and Government must take a firm action on this matter, including the denial of entry into the ports of Ghana to the shipping companies that insist on imposing the THC in Ghana,” the communiqué said.
The communiqué welcomed the positive discussions and agreed to continue to meet regularly to review the situation and other issues that affect their businesses as and when necessary.
It said after thorough deliberation on the negative impact such an action would have on shippers in Ghana and on the national economy as a whole, the communiqué called on Government to help reduce the cost of doing business in the country.
The communique was signed by the Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, and Ghana Union of Traders Associations.
The others were the Greater Accra Regional Shippers Committee, Ghana Root Crops and Tubers Exporters Union, and the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders.