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09.07.2004 Business & Finance

Ministry issues directive to shipping agents

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Accra, July 9, GNA - Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways on Thursday asked all Shipping agents operating in Tema and Takoradi ports to charge the cedi equivalent of fifty-five dollars as administration fees per transaction or per bill of lading for the handling of containers.

By the order, other local charges levied by shipping agents on consignees such as container evacuation fees, container maintenance fees, container cleaning costs and reefer monitoring and plugging fees, among others, have been abolished.

The order takes effect from August 1, 2004.

A statement from the Ministry on Thursday and signed by Mr Ahmed Ayuba, Special Assistant to the Minister, said the decision was necessary to ensure that cost of doing business at the country's ports remained competitive and less costly.

It aims at encouraging all stakeholders to continue to do business in the country's ports.

The statement explained that the Minister gave the directive at a meeting with representatives of Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders and the Ghana Shippers' Council, after he had consulted with all stakeholders.

The statement quoted the Minister of asking the parties to collaborate with each other to ensure smooth activities at the Tema and Takoradi ports.

The statement said the Ministry would issue further directives on shipping agents' charges for the handling of vehicles and other bulk cargoes in due course.