The Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority has described the latest rise in port costs as necessary.
The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has spoken out against the new rise in port taxes.
According to the authorities, the decision to raise port rates was made after careful assessment of several variables affecting the port’s operations.
The authority also stated that the rates of increase in this year’s tariff adjustment were influenced by the results of comparative port tariffs studies conducted in neighboring Ports of Lome and Abidjan, to ensure that Ghana’s ports remain competitive in terms of price and quality of services at all times.
The GPHA’s operations, like any other business, are impacted by rises in the cost of water, energy, gasoline, machinery, and equipment, among other things, according to the statement.
“GPHA was forced to implement the revised tariff due to current global economic challenges such as inflation and currency depreciation, which have increased our operational costs,” according to the statement.
Before the implementation of the new tariffs, the authority stated that it had several engagements with the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana (SOAAG), Freight Forwarding Associations, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), and Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana.
The GPHA also stated that it had invested millions of dollars in improving port infrastructure and maintaining a well-maintained and efficient port system, which will lead to lower operational costs for businesses, increased productivity, and easier trade operations.
Furthermore, the authority claimed that mounting stakeholder concerns could not force the authority to operate at a loss.
“Our investigation revealed that the drop in cargo volumes was not caused by GPHA’s service charges.” The GPHA charges are approximately 6% of the overall cost of cargo clearance in the port. “We are currently conducting a study on the individual contributors and their contribution to the total cost of cargo clearance in our ports so that we can engage and find possible solutions together,” the company stated.