Traders in the nation are calling on President Nana Akufo-Addo to intervene on their behalf for the removal of penalty charges on their consignment.
Speaking on behalf of traders in Ghana, executives from the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Used Clothes Dealers Association complained bitterly about the treatment meted out to them by the Ghana Shippers Authority.
In a studio discussion on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo'' on Friday, April 24, 2020, the GUTA National Organizer and Greater Accra Regional Organizer, Clement Boateng and Jeff Kwame Gyasi respectively explained their predicament to host Kwami Sefa Kayi saying the Shippers Authority has refused to waive demurrage on commodities at the port.
Demurrage refers to the charges that the traders who hire a ship to convey their cargo pay to the shipowner for its delayed operations of loading or unloading. Technically, it is a is a form of liquidated damages or penalty for breaching the laytime which is the amount of time allowed in a voyage charter for the loading and unloading of cargo.
The GUTA executives noted that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly during the partial lockdown in the country, a lot of traders have been hit by declines in sales and therefore encountering huge financial challenges.
Clement Boateng outlined some difficulties of the traders as they not being able to clear the goods from the port stating if a trader's consignment remains at the port after seven (7) to 21 days, they are mandated to pay between 50 to 100 dollars on each consignment per day.
He further said some traders have not been able to clear their cargo because they have been locked away in foreign countries due to the ban on travel and it is exceedingly unfair on the part of the Shippers Authority to penalize them.
The GUTA Greater Accra Regional Organizer added that the Association has noted the unfair treatment by the Shippers Authority regarding the collection of demurrage when they know the current situation in the economy.
" . . the Association and the Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, have written to the Shippers Authority to remove the charges or penalties on the goods but to no avail . . . we, therefore, call on President Akufo-Addo to exercise his power over the Shippers Authority to refrain from such treatment because it is not own fault that the goods have delayed at the port but the pandemic has rendered us inactive to undertake any business transaction," Jeff Kwame Gyasi stated.
Kwaning Asante Boateng, the General Secretary of the Used Clothes Dealers Association, asked the President to "just as he directed us to sleep and we slept for three weeks, he should intervene and make this issue very simple for us. He should come and tell them to waive all the demurrage and rent. He should direct the shipping lines to do that. I believe when he steps in, they will comply with his directive".
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|