The Transport Ministry has directed for the suspension of the proposed Terminal Handling Charges (THC) by some shipping lines operating to and from the seaports of Ghana.

They include the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), Ghana Chamber of Mines, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) and the Greater Accra Regional Shippers Committee (GARSC).

Shipping lines such as Pacific International Line (PIL), Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), CMA CGM, Arkas Lines and UASC want to impose an average $150 as a Terminal Handling Charge for 20-footer container and $265 for a 40-footer.

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The Ministry ordered the suspension of the THC on Wednesday after a meeting with ship owners and agent association.

Also, the Ministry directed the Maritime Authority to constitute a committee to investigate the issue.

The investigations come on the heels of a statement by the shippers and trader asking the government to intervene "in this injustice against the people of Ghana [sic], since this is completely unjustifiable and will only bring undue cost to businesses."

It warned the "THC would cost the already burdened Ghanaian shippers over $78 million per year and, knowing the history of these local charges, this figure will definitely increase astronomically."