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Implement 21 day demurrage free period to cut down cost of port business – Importers

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Importers and freight forwarders have appealed to government to implement a 21 day demurrage free period for clearing goods at the ports to significantly reduce the cost of port business.

“While I am commending government for reducing import duties at Ghana’s designated ports, I will appeal to President Akuffo-Addo to extend the 7 day Demurrage free clearing period to 21 days to make the port very friendly for business,” Mr Daniel Kwadwo Yeboah, Operations Manager, Reliable Air Cargo Service, told the Ghana News Agency.

Vice President Mohamudi Bawumia announced the government directive at a town hall meeting organized by the Economic management team that

the benchmark values of all imports from April 4th attracted a 50 per cent reduction but thirty per cent cut for cars.

According to Mr Yeboah, delays and sometimes practical realities at the port made the seven lay days too short and virtually impossible to clear goods hence the payment of demurrage which could be more expensive than the duties due.

He said some importers were able to negotiate for the extension of lay days but that could only be described as a privilege adding that the effects would only be felt when it became enforceable.

He also asked the officials of Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to work on weekends as well as beyond 1800 hours to enhance clearing at the ports.

The Frieght forwarder said importers who used the Lome port enjoyed 21 lay days hence making it more competitive than Ghana ports.

He appealed to government to intensify education on the new import duties regime in order not to create confusion among ordinary Ghanaians.

Demurrage is liquidated damages payable under a charter party at a specific daily rate required for completing the loading or discharging of cargoes after the lay days had expired.

Source: GNA

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