Mrs. Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu, the Director of Operations at GSA addressing the gathering

In a bid to enhance transparency and accountability in the Shipping and Logistics sector, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority has initiated steps to sign Service Level Agreements with stakeholders in the industry.

The objective is to ensure that both shippers and shipping service providers fulfill their obligations to each other, thus fostering economic growth.

These agreements will delineate the responsibilities of shipping service providers towards shippers, streamline port clearance processes, clarify time-related shipping costs, provide guidance on cost avoidance strategies, and define the role of the GSA in this context.

GPHA’s Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Nana Esi Soderberg addressing the gathering

Mr. Kwesi Baffour Sarpong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GSA, announced these developments in a speech delivered on his behalf by Mrs. Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu, the Director of Operations at GSA during a workshop on “Avoiding Demurrage and Rent” for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) held at the Shippers’ House in Accra on Tuesday, 23rd April 2024.

Mrs. Owu stated, “The GSA is actively working to enforce the provisions outlined in the Ghana Shippers’ Authority Regulations 2012 (L.I. 2190), with a specific focus on Section 6, which outlines service standards designed to uphold minimum quality levels in shipping services provided to shippers.”

GIFF’s P.K Mensah addressing the gathering

Demurrage Seminar

Importers have long grappled with the burden of demurrage and rent charges, often facing financial challenges in their shipping endeavors. Over recent years, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has received numerous complaints from shippers regarding demurrage fees imposed by shipping lines, despite delays not being attributed to the shippers themselves.

To address this challenge, the GSA initiated the “Avoiding Demurrage and Rent” seminar series in 2018. The initiative aims to educate shippers about the importance of initiating clearance procedures for goods before their arrival at the port, thereby reducing the likelihood of incurring demurrage charges.

Why MDAs

The GSA’s targeted campaign towards MDAs was prompted by research findings indicating that government agencies are among the top payers of demurrage charges. Mrs. Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu reiterated the Authority’s commitment to establishing a “demurrage-free port” in the interest of shippers and the national economy. Additionally, Mrs. Owu urged MDAs and leadership of State-Owned Enterprises to expedite the clearance of consignments from ports to minimize avoidable costs incurred using state resources.

Mrs. Monica Josiah, Head of Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation Department at GSA, appealed to MDAs responsible for granting permits and licenses to shippers to be mindful of the services they provide to avoid demurrage charges. Participants, including freight forwarders and representatives of various MDAs, emphasized the importance of staying informed about new developments that could be crucial for operating a cost-effective business.

Source: Ghana/