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    Shippers Advise Against Demurrage

    Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu (far left), executives of shippers associations and Dr Jospeh Obeng, president of GUTA (2nd?right).

    Regulators in the country??s shipping industry have called on importers and exporters to clear their goods at the ports within the first seven days to avoid the payment of demurrage.

    Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) made the call at a day??s seminar on ??how to avoid demurrage?? for members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) yesterday in Accra.

    According to her, container demurrage is a major cost item which has become a significant drain on import and export businesses.

    ??In fact, research has shown that in 2017 alone, over $75 million was paid as demurrage at Ghana??s ports with an estimated GH48 million paid over the same period as port rent.

    ??Unfortunately, a number of shippers enter into demurrage and rent periods due to several reasons.

    ??Despite the introduction of bold interventions at the ports recently by government, including the paperless ports project, withdrawal of the 1 percent special import levy, duty on importation of spare parts and 17.5 percent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines, the expected positive effects in recent times have been crowded out by demurrage.??

    She, therefore, tasked discussants at the workshop to clearly define how to deal with containers that return on weekends or holidays.

    ??We look forward to the next big thing, a repertoire of maritime trade and transport information made available and accessible on the mobile phone.

    Christened the?ShippersApp, the product makes available maritime trade statistics, information on vessel movement, port charges, contacts of key stakeholders within the maritime industry, step-by-step cargo clearance process guidelines, as well as industry news on a mobile phone.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the?ShippersApp?would transform Ghana??s trade, transport and logistics industry.??

    Dr Joseph Obeng, President of GUTA, in a remark, advised all stakeholders to come together and champion the cause of shippers.

    By Samuel Boadi

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