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16.11.2005 General News

Measures to reduce cost at the Ports

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Accra, Nov.16, GNA - Government and Ship Owners and their agents on Wednesday agreed to increase the number of days on non-payment of demurrage on cargo containers from five to seven days as part of measures to reduce cost of business transactions at the Ports. They also agreed to institute measures to ensure that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies take immediate action to clear their containers to reduce congestion at the Ports to save government revenue from being wasted on the payment of demurrage.

These were contained in a joint statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and the Ship Owners and Agents Association.

It said the agreements were reached du ring a meeting between Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and representatives of 10 Ship Owners and Agents, and representatives of Freight Forwarders and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. Some of the issues discussed at the meeting were, systems, procedures, equipment, cargo inspection and transit and transshipment cargo.

The Finance Minister said the meeting was to find out how to streamline operations and increase revenue without causing undue hardship to importers.

Alhaji Asuma Banda, President of the Ship Owners and Agents Association, expressed the association's appreciation to the government for involving them in the discussions and pledged that they would help to improve efficiency at the Ports.

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