Shippers, both importers and exporters, have hailed the abolishment of the Terminal Handling Charge (THC), which some shipping lines operating to and from the seaports of Ghana sought to introduce locally.
A statement signed by Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries, (AGI) on behalf of nine bodies, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, informed the business community that the THC as proposed by the Shipping Lines had been totally abolished in Ghana with immediate effect.
“We highly commend the Minister for Transport and his team for the urgency and commitment to ensuring sanity in the Maritime Industry,” the statement said.
“Members are to note that the Minister for Transport has issued a clear directive to that effect.”
The statement urged the shipping community to consider the directive by the Minister of Transport, forbidding the introduction of the THC, as the final decision on the matter and comply with it.
“The THC is totally illegitimate and must not be accepted by shippers,” the statement said.
“Whatsoever, any attempt by any Shipping Line to impose the THC on Shippers constitutes a serious indictment of the Minister’s authority and sovereign right of the business community in Ghana.
“Therefore, any attempt by any Shipping Line to impose the THC or hold Shippers’ cargo unduly must-quickly be brought to the notice of the respective Association with some evidence.”
The Shippers, therefore, urged the Government to apply heavy sanctions against any Shipping Line, which would act contrarily or attempt to impose such arbitrary charges on Shippers.
The statement was endorsed by leadership the AGI, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, Ghana Union of Traders Associations and Private Enterprise Federation.
The rest are Ghana Root Crops and Tubers Exporters Union, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, and the Greater Accra Regional Shippers Committee.