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GPHA moots review  of port tariffs
Fred Asiedu-Dartey (right) Head, Freight and Logistics Department, GSA, with Dr Joseph Obeng (left) President, GUTA, after one of the stakeholder engagements

GPHA moots review of port tariffs

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) is mooting for a review of port tariffs and subsequent restructuring of services rendered at the country’s two seaports for the shipping lines and shippers.

When approved, the new tariff regime would be applied to 13 schedules including port dues, port operator license fees, vessel handling charges, stevedoring charges, and receipt and delivery charges, among others.

The last tariff adjustment which took effect on March 1, 2021, saw an average increase of 15.74 per cent for 20-footer containers and 16.81 per cent for 40-footer containers. It affected only services rendered to shipping lines.

As a result, the Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA), an agency mandated to protect the interests of Ghanaian shippers, started engaging stakeholders to collect inputs into the proposals by the port authority.

It was after the port authority notified the GSA of its decision to review the tariff regime as a result of the rising cost of providing port services in the country.

As required by law, the GSA, on May 16, 2023, commenced what would be a series of engagements with key stakeholders; the first of which was a meeting with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in Accra to collate opinions and report back to the GPHA.

The engagements would enable the port authority to factor in the concerns of key stakeholders in the final decision-making to enable a smooth implementation.

The second in the series of meetings to be held on the issue, the GSA engaged the Shippers' Councils of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Key industry players in the process include the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Ghana Chamber of Mines, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

They sought clarification on pertinent issues including receipt and delivery charges and tariff schedules which have been revised according to the proposed rates of the GPHA.


The Head of the GSA Freight and Logistics Department, Fred Asiedu-Dartey, noted that the feedback would be forwarded to the GPHA to be factored into the final decision.

He said that the GSA would continue with the engagements to collate the views of more stakeholders to enrich the review of the proposed tariffs.

“The proposals from the GPHA for the review would affect 13 tariff schedules including port dues, port operator license fees, Vessel handling charges, stevedoring charges, receipt and delivery charges among others,” he said.

Mr Asiedu Dartey assured GUTA and its members that the GSA would provide them with the information required to enable them to have fruitful deliberations to provide feedback.

“This is an effort to ensure that your businesses do not suffer. We are open for further deliberations on the proposed tariff review, so the information you require will be provided,” he said.

Ample time

The President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, asked for ample time to enable members to discuss the pros and cons of the proposals by the GPHA before implementation.

“We will need some time, maybe two weeks, to have internal deliberations on the proposal.

“We will also require assistance from the GSA to identify the areas in the proposal which directly affect us to enhance our deliberations,” he said.

Reason behind review

Multiple sources at GPHA said the tariff adjustment was to help generate more revenue to settle loans secured to develop port infrastructure, including the Terminal Three of the Tema Port.

One of the sources maintained that the authority was finalising a new tariff.

“The GPHA wants to review a few tariff items for its vessel handling on containerised cargo and it is targeting shipping lines and individual shippers.

“The new tariff at this period was crucial to help the port authority to recover some of the investments it had made concerning the construction of Terminal Three,” it said.


A source with the shipping lines stated that depending on their cost structure, the shipping lines would pass on liner charges imposed by GPHA or a port authority as freight or a local charge.

“The representing agents of the shipping lines in Ghana do not have a say. Once their principal owners direct them on how to apply the tariff, they go by that directive and so they can decide to apply it as freight or charge it locally. It is the prerogative of the shipping line owners to decide where to implement it.”

Before the shipping lines would introduce a new fee, the source stated that the GPHA had the responsibility to inform the market within a specific time frame and that was what they were currently doing under the circumstances.

“As I said, agents here don’t have control. It is their principals that do and they are going to direct them to charge so much and that is what the agents will do.”

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