The Ghana Union of Traders’ Association(GUTA) has expressed discontent with the unfair treatment being meted out on its members by shipping lines and the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority(GPHA).
The Association has disclosed that shipping lines and GPHA have requested traders to clear their goods from the ports and warehouses or risk paying demurrage and other charges.
But this according to the GUTA cannot be achieved following the partial lockdown implemented in parts of the country by the government. They explained their businesses have been closed down and there is no source of income at the moment.
‘’It is very sad that while most of our members can not 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 demaurage 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 ware houses or pay further rent charges.’’
The Association is therefore calling on government to as a matter of urgency appeal to Shipping lines and the GPHA to forgo demurrage and rent charges.
‘We are therefore calling on government to strongly appeal to the Shipping lines and GPHA to give unconditional waivers to demaurage and rent charges during this period of the lockdown so that together we all achieve the aim of fighting this pandemic to success.’
“It is our hope that government quickly heed to our call so that our members are not forced to clear their goods and open their shops and ware houses to off load their goods.” – the statement added
In the statement signed by the Dr. Joseph Obeng, National President of GUTA, the Association urged public safety to be considered top priority even though some government institutions like GRA, GPHA etc needed revenue to support government.
Full Statement Below: