The Ministry of Transport has ordered a reduction in port charges following growing anger this week in the port community.
This is following the commencement of the implementation of the new tariff regime by the Meridian Port Services (MPS) on Monday, December 2, 2019.
Graphic Online's Della Russel Ocloo and Maclean Kwofi reports that the restructured tariffs according to a letter dated November 8, 2019 and signed by the Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Mr Michael Luguje covers new tariff items such as the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) dues, stevedoring charges on liquid bulk, shore handling of which the rate is to be charged in the United States dollar, container handling containers among others.
The six-page letter, a copy of which has been seen by Graphic Online detailed that, per the Deed of Amendment to the concession agreement signed between the GPHA and MPS in June 2015, GPHA was contractually obliged to implement the revised port tariffs on the commencement of the operation of the Container Terminal 3.
Graphic Online's sources have however confirmed that after two days of meetings with trade associations the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority and the Ghana Shippers Authority, the Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has directed for shore handling charges at the port to be reduced to 40 per cent from the present figure which the trade associations say stands at 200 per cent.
Meanwhile, importers and exporters association have welcomed the new directive to MPS for a downward adjustment on shore handling charges to 40 per cent.