Shipping lines are yet to begin a refund of illegal Terminal Handling Charges (THC) at the ports almost a week after the Transport Minister ordered for the shipping companies to stop charging the fee, according to citinews report.
Some importers and exporters have revealed the shipping lines are finding it difficult to refund the fees due to the illegal method they used in taking the fee.
Spokesperson for the business associations protesting the THC, Adobea Asiamah Aboagye spoke to Citi Business News.
“As far as I am concerned, we have not had any refund yet. Of course when the minister gave the instruction that the terminal handling charges should be suspended, some of the lines were still charging the fee.”
“There has not been any refund because under these circumstances we don’t expect the shipping lines to just call shippers and make a refund to them. It is very difficult for them. So we have asked all our members who paid the new fee to put in a refund claim,” she added.
Importers and Exporters have called on government to help them get a refund of their monies from ship owners who defied the transport minister’s directive to suspend the implementation of the terminal handling charges until further notice.
Citi Business News understands the development caused a lot of mayhem at the ports since a refusal to pay the charges meant clients were unable to clear their cargo at the ports. The Transport Minister had earlier tasked the Ghana Maritime Authority to constitute a committee to investigate the issue while notifying all ship owners to hold on with their charges until the Ghana Maritime Authority comes out with its findings.
The latest directive from the Transport Ministry followed the submission of the Ghana Maritime Authority’s investigative report.