Importers to pay less for service from March 1

Tema_Harbour-450x330As part of measures to reduce the high cost of doing business at the country’s ports, the Ghana Shippers Authority is set to implement the Advance Shipment Information System (ASHI).

The new system when operational on the 1st of March will enable importers fill out documentation online to expedite the cargo clearance process, thereby avoiding the payment of huge demurrage and rent charges at the port.

This is in conformity with the Ghana Shippers Authority Regulations, LI 2190 of 2012.

Figures available to Citi Business News from the Ghana Shippers Authority indicates that about 75 percent of shipping containers cleared at the Tema port enter demurrage and rent; costing Ghanaian importers in excess of 75 million dollars and 30 million dollars respectively.

Studies by the Authority also show that the huge payment of demurrage and rent is largely attributable to the late arrival of the shipment documents required for going thorough clearance at the country’s ports.

Speaking in an interview with Citi Business News, the CEO of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Dr Kofi Mbiah said the new system which will be mandatory will go a long way to cut down the cost of doing business at the ports.

“The ASHI form will be part of the documents for customs clearance at a minimal fee because if you compare it to the demurrage payment incurred by importers, it is very useful weighing it against the benefits,’’ he said.

The Advance Shipment Information System (ASHI) will also build accurate databases on relevant information such as product costs, freight charges, surcharges for the negotiation of competitive rates among other benefits.

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