The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is demanding that government ceases the charging of fumigation cost at the ports.
GUTA argues that the additional cost is over burdening their members, and unnecessary, as their containers are fumigated even before it arrives at the ports of Ghana.
Earlier, freight forwarders had also kicked against the fumigation exercise, citing unnecessary cost and delay.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng said government should call off the charges to reduce the cost of imports.
He added that the containers belong to the shipping lines, hence not tangible to force GUTA to take the cost.
“What we seek by this is that the containers that are going to be fumigated are not our properties. It belongs to the shipping lines, so we don’t see the reason why we will be charged,” he stressed.
Lamenting over the cost of doing business in Ghana, Dr. Obeng described as incentive the decision to further impose more charges on GUTA members through importers.
“The cost of doing business is so high and we are not prepared to add any single layer of cost to doing our business. So all that we are saying is that, we are not going to bear any cost with regard to this fumigation,” he charged.
He stated that the relevant agencies must assess the impact of the fumigation exercise on businesses before it gets too late.
“Government and the technical people at the Ministry of Health must think through this exercise. We will not bear any responsibility to pay for a container that does not belong to us” he said.
Meanwhile, GUTA also argues that the proposed fumigation exercise when implemented will negate the Vice President’s paperless policy objective at the ports.
“Shippers are still grappling with the scanning process, which contributes to congestion at the ports only for an additional process” he remarked.
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana.