Ghana Shippers Authority wants gov’t to consider fixed quarterly exchange rate clearance regime

The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) on Monday called on the Government to consider fixing a quarterly exchange rate for clearance related charges to enhance planning and predictability as a means of minimising uncleared cargo at the ports.

According to the GSA, the increasing uncertainties associated with the current exchange rate fluctuations coupled with the fact that most clearance related charges were pegged in the United States dollars.

“We believe that fixing quarterly exchange rate will reduce the associated uncertainties in the market”, GSA stated in a Communiqué made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra by Mr Fred Asiedu-Dartey, Head of Public Relations of the GSA.

The GSA noted that “even though we appreciate the efforts of the Government towards improving competitiveness in the logistics and supply chain, we note however that there still remain a lot of challenges mitigating against the competitiveness of shippers in Ghana on the global market.

The Communiqué, which was issued at the end of a two-day workshop to deliberate on business operations affecting the shipping and trade industry in Ghana, appealed to the government to give all the necessary support to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to expedite the implementation of the expansion of the two seaports as well as the rehabilitation of the port access roads to facilitate the movement of cargo.

The GSA called for the rehabilitation of haulage truck parks, warehouses, examination bays as well as the provision of customs operational areas at the country’s frontiers and inland border posts to enhance shipment and clearance operations.

It said government should take necessary steps to provide cold chain logistics facilities for exporters, including pack houses and appropriate transport logistics to ensure their competitiveness on the global market.

That Government should give all the necessary support to the Ghana Railway Development Authority to expedite the rehabilitation of the Eastern Railway Line to provide the necessary impetus to the development of the Boankra Inland Port Project.

The GSA also expressed concern about the inadequate equipment situation at the terminals called for immediate action to address the challenges in order to forestall the situation of cyclical congestion at the ports.

The Communiqué tasked the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Destination Inspection Companies to strengthen the application of risk management systems in their operations to facilitate fast clearance of goods from the ports.

“That recognizing that professionalism of all the relevant shipping service providers within the ports and inland frontiers is critical to our competitiveness, we call for commitment to training and re-training of operatives to minimise human errors in the cargo clearance process at the ports.

The GSA also tasked Shippers in Ghana to improve upon their business transparency by submitting genuine documents for clearance purposes and take urgent steps to expeditiously clear their cargoes from the ports.

The Communiqué was signed by the chairpersons of the 10 Regional Shipper Committees: Ms Adobea Asiama-Aboagye, Greater Accra; Pastor Sampson M. Boye, Eastern Region; Mr Kwame Tenadu Senior, Central Region; and Mr J. K. Addison, Western Region.

The rest are: Mr Cephas Exe, Volta Region; Mr Gabriel Kwasi Badu, Brong Ahafo; Mr Joseph Amoah, Ashanti Region; Mr. Saeed Moomen, Northern Region; Chief Yuoni V. Moses, Upper West; and Mr Francis Danso, Upper East.

Source: GNA

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