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Importers Paid Over $75M As Demurrage In 2017

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The Chief Executive of Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), Benonita Bismarck has revealed that over $75 million was paid as demurrage, last year, and about GHc48 million as port rent, during the same period.

According to her a study conducted by the Authority in 2016, showed that in excess of 85 per cent of containerized imports went on demurrage and storage rent.

Factors contributing to this she said included delays in the receipt of cargo documentation, lack of prior information on vessel arrival and non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

Ms Bismarck, made this known in a speech on her behalf at a day’s seminar held for the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), in Accra.

“It has been a priority of the Authority to reduce the total amount of demurrage and rent payments through shipper education and sensitization,” she said.

Ms Bismarck has urged importers to submit genuine documents to speed up goods clearance and avoid demurrage and rent charges.

She reminded them to do everything to clear their goods within the first seven days so that they would not have to pay any penalties.

They should start the clearance process before the arrival of vessels, secure licenses and permits, and submit genuine documents to prevent undue delays at the ports, she said.

Mr. Adam Imoro Ayarna, the Vice President of Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, asked that they established effective communication with the shipping lines and their agents so that their cargoes could be properly tracked to prevent delay.

He identified the lack of planning on the side of shippers, fraudulent activities of agents and the use of the shipping container as warehouse as some of the reasons that had been causing delays in the clearing process.

Mr. Imoro Ayarna advised shippers to engage the services of a professional agent or forwarder to handle shipment after the order was completed.

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