Importers demand alternatives as internet outage disrupts cargo clearance, other activities

Importers and freight forwarders at the Tema port are asking the Ghana Shippers Authority to ensure that shipping lines do not charge them for extra demurrages, rent, and storage due to delays caused by the general internet disruption in the country.

The general disruption in internet services across the country since last week has negatively affected the clearance of cargo at Ghana’s largest seaport, leading to demurrages.

Co-chairperson of the Technical Committee of the Tema District of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Paulina Abrokwah, explained the level of impact on the cost of doing business at the port.

“We’re hoping that with the situation at least some of the service providers like the shipping lines and terminals will be considerate and waive the extra cost related to any delay that will occur.

“We are hoping that the Ghana Shippers Authority will take the lead in this and ensure that traders or importers don’t have to suffer to pay demorages as a result of this general internet outage,” she explained.

She told JoyNews that they expect the Ghana Shippers Authority to intervene to ensure shipping lines do not take advantage to charge them extra for the delays caused by the internet disruption.

“One area that area that was really bad was the banks. They were unable to pay duty, at least, as of Friday. Once you’re not able to pay, you cannot continue with the rest of the processes,” she said.

The National Communication Authority (NCA) estimates it may take a minimum of five weeks for the faulty undersea cables to be restored to bring back stable connections in the affected countries

On the back, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson Azaki Awingobit, said the Economic Management Team (EMT) must immediately come up with a Plan B to ensure importers do not suffer.

Source: myjoyonline

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