Nana Opoku

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is appealing to the government to allow them a three-week grace period to mobilise funds to clear their goods from the ports.

The Minister of Transport earlier suspended all applicable time– related penalties–i.e. demurrage/detention storage rent charges in the clearance of cargo at the ports in the wake of covid-19 induced restrictions on March 30, 2020.

This means that demurrage/detention and storage rent charges on all cargoes which have remained uncleared at the ports from March 30, 2020, to April 19, 2020, are to be waived.

According to GUTA, Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, have expressed some concerns with the directives and this has brought some challenges in the clearing of goods at the ports.

In a statement GUTA said “as a matter of expediency, we would appeal to the Government through the Minister of Transport and also our Sector Minister, Honorable Minister of Trade and Industry, to give all those who have been affected in this matter a grace period of three weeks to mobilise funds and clear their goods at the ports.”

GUTA said: “This will go a long way to avert any agitation that may arise out of the frustrations that our members encounter at the moment.”

Earlier, GUTA called on the government to strongly appeal to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and shipping lines to give unconditional waivers on demurrage and rent charges during the lockdown period.