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18.09.2003 Business & Finance

Ministry reviews hikes in insurance on transit goods

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Accra, Sept. 18, GNA - The Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways on Thursday said it is reviewing the increase in insurance premium for transit goods through the Tema and Takoradi harbours.

A committee comprising key stakeholders has been formed to review the new directives followed a meeting with several stakeholders in Accra at the instance of the Sector Minister, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi to deliberate on difficulties resulting from the new directives.

"The meeting, therefore, decided to put a four-week moratorium on the new directives, during which time the committee would have exhaustively deliberated and taken a decision on the matter," a statement signed by Mr Ahmed Ayuba, Special Assistant to the Minister, said.

The statement said the meeting involved the Ministry of Ports, Harbours and Railways; Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Insurance Commissioner in Accra.

It said representatives of Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, the Insurance Association of Ghana and the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority attended the meeting.

Importers of transit goods through the Tema Port on Monday threatened to divert their business routes to neighbouring Lome, Togo and Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, following increases in insurance bond charges.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the Tema Port, some of the importers, most of whom are from landlocked Francophone countries, complained that the charges were so high that it was not worth taking their goods through the Tema Port anymore.

"Fortunately for us, Abidjan Port has now been opened, so we can now operate from there," Mr Elvis Addikabone, a Burkinabe Importer, said. He added that some of their nationals have already started using the Lome Port.

He said last Friday Clearing Agents in charge of transit trade at the Port, informed them about the increases in charges for bond insurance from one per cent to two per cent, which means that 400 million cedis worth of goods which attracted a bond value of four million cedis will now attract eight million cedis.

"We see the increase as a move to get us out of business and we are ready to leave Ghana to trade at Lome or Abidjan Ports where we understand the language and where the clearing procedure is faster and simpler," Mr Addikabone said. 18 Sept. 03

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