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Demurrage Declines By 21% In 6 Months - Shippers’ Authority   
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Data from the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) indicate that payment of demurrage at the Ports decreased by about 17.5% from the $100 million in 2016 to US$ 76 million at the end of 2017.

Also in the first half of 2018, the Authority recorded total payments of about $28.5 million, against 38.5 million during the same period last year indicating a reduction of about 21% compared to payments recorded last year.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck, who disclosed this yesterday, attributed the reduction of demurrage payment to sensitization and training provided to importers in recent time.

At the sixth in series of Maritime Seminars organized by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association, she announced that the Authority would before the end of the year launch the ShippersApp in its quest to be consistent and become a one-stop house for shipping information.

The App, she stated, was loaded with information on charges in the ports, vessel arrivals, maritime statistics, contacts and locations of shipping lines and agencies, industry news, a platform for shipper enquiries and complaints, among others.

She encouraged all shippers, shipping service providers and the general public to download the Shippers App from App store or Google store.

The purpose of the seminar is to improve the knowledge of journalists on current developments in the country’s trade and shipping sector.

Ms Bismarck noted that the Authority considers the dissemination of relevant information on shipping related issues to shippers and other stakeholders as very significant in fulfilling its mandate.

Given that, she said it has become imperative that media practitioners who are critical conveyors of such critical information to the public are regularly empowered through seminars of that nature.

Four presentations were made at the seminar. They included ‘The implementation of paperless transaction in Ghana: An impact on cargo clearance, at the Ports, ‘The effect of demurrage on the cost of doing business at the Ports’, Improving the trade facilitation via port expansion and port efficiency and Transit trade through Ghana’s corridor-implication for the economy.

Presenting on the topic, ‘effect of demurrage on the cost of doing business at the ports’, Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the GSA, Mr Emmanuel Arku, outlined some of the factors that contributed to container demurrage.

He mentioned the delay in the receipt of cargo documentation, lack of prior information on vessel arrivals, declaration of inaccurate information, non-compliance with regulatory requirements and deliberate delay due to some ulterior motives.

Impact of demurrage on Ghana’s economy

He said container demurrage dwindles profits and working capital of shippers and could affect sales volume of shipping due to higher product costs on the market.

He said it could also affect volume of imports and increase cost of living in the country.
“It affects competitiveness of Ghana’s exports and it is also a foreign exchange drain on the economy” he stressed.


He recommended shipper education to ensure that shippers do the right things such as starting the clearance process before vessel arrives, submission of genuine documents, getting ready with funds for clearance process as well as and securing licenses and permits before cargo arrival.

Touching on the implementation of paperless transaction in Ghana, Assistant Revenue Officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Division, Kwesi Kumah was of the view that the system was rushed and there was little time for sensitization and training. 
He added that stakeholder engagements were seriously rushed and inadequate. 
Similarly, he said, key players in the implementation were to a large extent deficient in the understanding of the required processes as well as poor quality of examination devices or tablets for the inspection team.

Source: The Finder

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