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Cedi appreciation GPHA threaten sanctions against shipping lines over wrong dollar quotations

The development according to the importers is adding to their cost of clearing goods from the ports.

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The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has described as unacceptable the decision by some shipping lines and government agencies to still stick to the old dollar quotations despite the appreciation of the cedi.

Importers and exporters are accusing some shipping lines and government agencies operating at the country’s ports of charging exorbitant rates in dollars as port fees despite the appreciation of the cedi. The rates which are mainly for local handling charges have been pegged at the old dollar exchange rates despite the appreciation of the cedi.

The development according to the importers is adding to their cost of clearing goods from the ports.

“Whatever charges the shipping lines are charging are being repatriated back to their principal and they go to the market to buy the dollar which is also repatriated” Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, Sampson Asaaki Awingobit told Citi Business News in an interview.

Citi Business News understands that shipping lines are charging 4 cedis 45 pesewas to the dollar instead of 3 cedis 23 pesewas being used by customs. The association has maintained that prices of imported goods will not be reduced until the cedi’s recent appreciation is sustained over a period of time.

But the latest development at the ports is likely to put undue pressure on the importers to pay up or have their goods grounded. Sampson Awingobit says government must be blamed for allowing shipping lines the chance to use their own rates when “even the commercial bank rates may be lower than what the customs are using this is total robbery and I have evidence to prove.”

However Head of Public Relations at the GPHA, Paul Ansah told Citi Business News, the authority will take action against companies found to be charging rates more than the Bank of Ghana rates.

Credit: citifmonline.com

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