Coronavirus: Government waives demurrage and port rent charges

Government has waived all demurrages and rent charges incurred by importers and all other ports users during the COVID-19 partial lockdown between March 30 and April 19, as part of a relief package for shippers.

The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has, therefore, reminded importers, cargo owners, freight forwarders and all other ports users that any further delays in clearing their goods, would not be covered by the waiver.

Mr Fred Asiedu-Dartey, Head of Freight and Logistics at the GSA, during a media encounter in Accra, said the GSA had held several engagements with shipping lines, shipping agents and importers to explain the penalty waivers following agitations by some players in the shipping industry.

He expressed the Authority’s unwaivering commitment to promoting and protecting the interests of shippers at all time.

He said following a meeting held on April 24, MAERSK Ghana Limited, a leading container terminal operator, and Meridian Ports Services, agreed to waive off all demurrages and rent charges incurred by importers during the lockdown.

The directive for the suspension of all applicable time-related penalties in the clearance of cargo at the ports was issued by the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori-Asiama effective, March 30 to April 19, 2020.

Mr Asiedu-Dartey was of the opinion that the law regulating the activities of shippers in the country should be reviewed and amended to be in tune with contemporary shipping activities globally.