Lockdown: Gov’t waives demurrage, rent charges on cargoes at Seaports
The Ministry of Transport has directed shipping companies to suspend demurrage, rent charges and others on cargoes at the Seaports.
This will also affect cargoes that have remained uncleared since the lockdown came into effect on 30th March, 2020.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, dated April,17,2020 and signed by the Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said:”This directive is to ensure that shippers and other stakeholders do not take actions that may jeopardize Government’s efforts at curbing the spread of the virus, on the basis of averting the accumulation of costs in the clearance of their cargoes.”
The decision comes after the Ghana Union of Traders Association’s (GUTA) calls on government to step in to ensure the Shipping lines and the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority(GPHA) give traders unconditional waivers to demurrage and rent charges amid the Lockdown.
“It is very sad that while most of our members cannot move out freely because they are all adhering to the restrictions announced by government, the shipping lines are asking that since they are still working, our members whose goods have arrived at the ports should clear them or pay demurrage if the containers continue to remain at the ports during this lockdown period. The Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority are also asking importers to clear their goods from their warehouses or pay further rent charges.,” GUTA recounted in its statement.
Meanwhile, the Minister noted that Ports are still open for business, but urged stakeholders to ensure that the safety protocols advised by the Health Authorities to stem the spread of COVID-19 are strictly adhered to.
Letter published below