Some importers and exporters have complained to Citi Business News that some shipping companies are still charging the Terminal Handling Charges (THC) at the ports. This comes after the Ministry of Transport last Friday [September 2, 2016], issued a directive for shipping companies in the country to stop charging the THC. A statement issued and signed by the sector Minister stated that, “Terminal Handling Charges (THC) cannot be introduced at the ports in Ghana as a local charge.” The directive was expected to bring to rest, the numerous agitations that had persisted among shipping companies, importers and freight forwarders. But speaking to Citi Business News the spokesperson for the business associations protesting the THC, Adobea Asiamah Aboagye said some shipping lines are still defying the minister’s order. “We have had instances that some of the shippers have come with invoice showing that the shipping lines have charged them the terminal handling charge and they have paid for because they need to clear the cargo so as not to incur demurrage.” Adobea Asiamah Aboagye added that the business associations were trying to gather data on those who are still charging the fee which will inform the next line of action of the group. The businesses are also planning to revisit the ministry as their spokesperson contends, “it is interesting that a minister of a sovereign nation can give a directive and entities within can just flout it.” Transport Ministry orders Ghana Shippers Authority to investigate issue Meanwhile the transport ministry has ordered the Ghana Shippers Authority to investigate and address the concerns. The Chief Director of the Ministry, Twumasi Ankrah Selby who confirmed his to Citi Business News was also optimistic all outstanding issues will be curtailed as soon as possible.
The directive to end the terminal handling charge is immediate because the suspension directive came on the 10th of August, 2016. Moreover in the recent statement, the Minister did not say that we are revoking the suspension but directed that the THC be abolished,” he remarked. Mr. Selby added,”we have therefore mandated the Ghana Shippers Authority, the arm of government that deals with this kind of issues to deal with them. So the Shippers authority is currently dealing with the issues and we are sure they will all conform soon"