The Ghana Union and Traders Association (GUTA) has appealed to government to engage the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and shipping lines to consider waiving some demurrages and rent charges during the lockdown period.
Speaking to Joy News, the President of the body, Dr Joseph Obeng lamented the negative effects of lockdown on their activities.
According to GUTA, “shipping lines which were exempted from the restrictions are asking GUTA members whose goods arrived at the ports to clear them or pay demurrage if the containers continue to remain at the ports during this lockdown period.
“The Ghana Ports and Harbor Authority is also asking importers to clear their goods from their warehouses or pay further rent charges,” he stressed.
GUTA has complained about the COVID-19 pandemic leaving members penniless, hence their inability to pay the duties at the ports.
The traders association explained that despite persistent calls through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Shippers Authority to the GPHA and Shipping lines, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
“It is quite sad that to them it is business as usual while the importer, because of the national interest, is adhering to government’s directives so as to ensure that we all fight this very contagious pandemic together,” he said.
GUTA is, therefore, asking the government to help waive the demurrage and rent charges unconditionally during this lockdown period.