Ghana Maritime Authority increases safety charge at the port

File photo[/caption] The Ghana Maritime Authority has introduced a new safety charge per ton of gross  tonnage for a ship as it abolishes the current safety charge of 0.15 US dollars. This is contained in a resolution by the Authority intercepted by TV3 dated August 30, 2017 and signed by the Director General Kwame Owusu. The Ghana Maritime Authority ( fees and charges) Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2009) provides that any commercial vessel other than bulk carriers and oil tankers that call a port or terminal within the Ghana’s maritime jurisdiction was liable to pay US$ 1 per ton of gross  tonnage as a safety charge. However, upon petition, it was reduced to US$0.15, which the current management at the Authority finds “illegal”. The new safety charge of US$0.50 has now been agreed by management which takes effect from October 1, 2017. In other words a commercial vessel is now liable to pay point five percent. The point five percent represent half of the weight of the ship. For instance vessels under the 0.15 percent who paid  60,000 dollars on a 40,000 gross tonnage of a vessel will now have to pay 200,000 us dollars. “A new safety charge of (a) US$0.50 per the 40,000 GRT and below; (b) any excess GRT above 40,000 will be subject to  US$0.25,” the resolution said. Meanwhile, the Authority says it is yet to seek parliamentary approval to reflect on the agreed charges. Imoro Ayarna, Vice Chairman of Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, told TV3 Midday Live they are not happy with the increment but will comply. He however said the association would have wished the charge stayed at US$0.15, noting the increment will affect cost of doing business at Ghana’s ports. “This could adversely affect transshipment”, he warned.

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