Freight forwarders urge Ghana to extend demurrage free period
Resource：The SiteDate：2019/4/24 Click：0
Importers and freight forwarders are
calling on the government in Ghana to extend from seven days the demurrage free
period for clearing goods at the nation's ports to 21 days, in an effort to
significantly lower the cost of doing business at sea ports.
"While I am commending
government for reducing import duties at Ghana's designated ports, I will
appeal to President Akuffo-Addo to extend the seven-day demurrage free clearing
period to 21 days to make the port very friendly for business," said
Reliable Air Cargo Service operations manager Daniel Kwadwo Yeboah.
Vice President Mohamudi Bawumia
announced the government directive at a town hall meeting organised by the
economic management team that the benchmark values of all imports from April 4
attracted a 50 per cent reduction but 30 per cent cut for cars, reported the
Ghana News Agency.
According to Mr Yeboah, delays and
sometimes practical realities at the port rendered the seven lay days too short
and virtually impossible to clear goods. This meant that the payment of
demurrage that could work out to be more expensive than the duties levied.
He said some importers were able to
negotiate for the extension of lay days, however, but he described that as
being a "privilege", adding that the positive effects could only be
realised when it became enforceable.
He also urged the officials of
Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to work on weekends as well as
beyond 6pm to accelerate the clearance of port cargo.
The freight forwarder pointed out
that importers using Lome port enjoyed 21 lay days, thereby making that port
more competitive than ports in Ghana.