The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has dismissed some disturbing assertions made by one aggrieved importer that his cargo was stolen at the Tema Port.
The said importer, unnamed, lamented that although he had paid duties twice, his container was not available for his retrieval when he went to the Tema Port.
Speaking in an interview with Broadcast Journalist, Kofi Adomako, on KOFI TV, the said importer held the Port Authority culpable for his alleged missing container.
Setting the record straight in an interaction with Eye on Port, the Marketing and Public Affairs Manager of the Port of Tema, Abena Serwaa Opoku Fosu, revealed that the said container of goods was not under the supervision of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, after it was enlisted under the Uncleared Cargo List (UCL), after failure to clear by the importer within the stipulated 21 days by law.
She explained that such uncleared goods, when listed under UCL, by law, are transferred from GPHA’s terminals to the domain of Customs who have them confiscated under the State Warehouse regime.
“The container was received at the Golden Jubilee Terminal on the 3RD of February 2020 and by law general goods go on UCL, on the 21st day while for vehicles it is 60days, where customs writes to us to do the transfer. Customs wrote to us to transfer the container to Atlas on the 24th October 2020,” she revealed.
The Marketing Manager in Charge of Tema Port, GPHA, emphasized that at that point, all supervisory responsibilities are handed over to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority who decide on the necessary legal procedures required to retrieve revenues on such cargoes including auctioning.
In this particular case, she confirmed that the cargo in question, upon request by Customs, was transferred to the Atlas Terminal, which is not under the purview of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
“From there it had left the responsibility of the Port Authority so whatever happens there is between the agent and GRA, Customs,” she said.
Mrs. Abena Serwaa Opoku Fosu, said in the event of successful auctioning, some little monies are allotted to the Port Authority as recompense to lessen the impact of the rent charges and other terminal fees lost to the uncleared cargo.
She advised importers to be timely in satisfying the necessary fees payable to the Port Authority, Customs and all other service providers in the import clearance chain so as to not suffer the agony of forfeiting goods to the State who by law can choose to auction them to retrieve its due revenues.
The Marketing and Public Affairs Manager of the Port of Tema, also recommended that the aggrieved importer visits the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, to explore his options to solve his predicament.