Backers at ports call for corrective regulatory administration to check absurd charges

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By Norvisi Eyiram Mawunyegah

Backers at the country’s ports including freight forwarders stressed on issues with irregularities cornering activities been carried at the port, that wishes to be addressed on in the upcoming budget reading on Friday.

For months now, these backers have been disturbing and using all channels accessible to prevent an increment in charges especially from the shipping line.

Up until March 2020, the value and volume of exports from Ghana were increasing gradually while the value and volume of imports fluctuated, leading to consistent balance of trade as well as healthy data at the country’s ports.

The value of exports and imports in January 2020 recorded at 1.4 billion dollars, and 1.1 billion dollars respectively. To November of the same year, and the figures had fluctuated due to the impact of COVID-19. Value of exports and imports stood equally at about 1.2 billion dollars correspondingly.

The impact extended from loosing of jobs and the high level of goods and services been conducted. Activities going on were doing well until importers and exporters began raising ideas of price increment. Concerns got to the Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asimah, who called for a stay of the increases and asked for more consultation.

As the 2021 budget presentation is coming through, the backers and the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, still have issues with immediate port charges and the conduct of shipping lines at the top of the list they want the government to look at.

Eddy Akrong the President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, cautioned for increased digitization with a stable currency management at the ports. The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, Sampson Asaaki Awingobit, says he looking for a law that would enforce to ensure shipping lines act according to laid down regulations

“The shipping lines are acting the way they are because they see that the laws governing or regulating them don’t bite enough. If things stay as they are with the high port charges, Ghana will become unattractive in the era of the African Continental Free Trade Area. So, what we are calling for is a law that is fair and punitive enough for all stakeholders to ensure everyone stays in line.”