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General News | May 19, 2004

Importers Fail to Clear Containers At Tema Port

Ghanaian Chronicle

Close to two months after Professor Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister for Ports, Harbours and Railways, ordered the evacuation of 2,000 containers from the Tema Port, his request is being treated with the least attention.

So far, only 193 of the containers have been evacuated to the TOA Yard at the fishing harbour pending gazetting and auctioning.

The Chronicle's investigations revealed that this had come about due to mistrust and failure to accept their responsibilities as directed by the minister.

From the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) there are reports that the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) is very selective in implementing over-stayed goods at the port.

Inside sources told The Chronicle that CEPS is able to identify vehicles that have stayed more than 60 days in the port, which lists are quickly compiled to the Castle or National Security and without any delay these cars are gazetted and presented for auctioning.

The GPHA source said they are at a loss as to how only cars are easily identified by the CEPS officials and when it comes to containers, it cannot be done.

CEPS on their part claimed that it is the duty of the GPHA to furnish them with lists and contents of the overstayed goods at the port for onward submission to their headquarters for the necessary documentations.

Interestingly, some of the containers have been gazetted over two years ago but have not been attended to by CEPS - that is auctioning.

The primary aim of the minister was to decongest the port of these containers. Some of the items in these containers belong to state institutions and donations from philanthropists to some hospitals.

The possibility of some of these containers getting missing cannot be ruled out.

The GPHA when reached said they were now compiling the list of items for CEPS but with some reservation.

On the sale of cars (auction), reports reaching The Chronicle has it that the value is so high that the public is unable to patronize and the needed revenue is locked up.

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