Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority News
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Benonita Bismarck has stated that it is imperative for shippers to avoid demurrage and rent charges as a result of delay if their profitability and competitiveness within the market space is to be guaranteed.
“The high cost of business remains one of the biggest disincentives to the growth of imports and exports businesses in Ghana. A major cost item is container demurrage which has become a significant drain on the capital of imports and export businesses. Demurrages rates are avoidable payments at the port and that is why we chose the theme how to avoid demurrage.”
The CEO of Ghana Shippers Authority said this in a speech read on her behalf by Fred Aseidu Dartey, Head of Freight and Logistics, when he addressed a section of shippers on how to avoid demurrage at Takoradi in the Western Region.
 She said if demurrage and rent charges are avoided it will go a long way to reduce cost burden and increase productivity.
“We at the Ghana Shippers Authority will continue to assure you of our unflinching support and dedication to the promotion and protection of your interest and that includes throwing ample light on the dark spots within the industry through regular sensitization programs to help the businesses navigate carefully to safety. At a recent seminar with a segment of the shipping public in Accra, I highlighted some key issues.” 

Last year alone, more than US$75 million was paid as demurrage to Shipping lines with an estimated GH¢48 million paid over the same period as port rent to the Port Authority.
He therefore urged shippers to clear their goods on time and within the seven days’ free period given by Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority.
The Deputy Manager for Marketing and Public Affairs Officer of the Takoradi Port, Peter Amo-Bediako, of the GPHA said Port storage charges also known as rent charges were legitimate charges but can be avoided by shippers.

“For us, as a Port Authority, and for the Shipping public, to sensitize them that, these costs: container demurrage charges, and rent charges, though legitimate could be avoided to impact positively the cost of doing business through the port and also the price of commodities on the market,” he opined. 
He said some essential things shippers could do to avoid excess rent charges and demurrage was to employ the services of a professional freight forwarder who could monitor the shipment to ensure that the cargo is cleared on time.

The closing ceremony of the Maritime Week Africa 2018 was climaxed with presentations about the current state of the Ports of Tema and Takoradi and their contributions and preparedness towards making Ghana an Oil and Gas hub. 
The General Manager of the Tema Fishing Harbor, Kumi Adjei-Sam who spoke on the topic, Rejuvenating Accra’s nearest Port, highlighted the services of Tema port and elaborated on some measures put in place to enhance trade facilitation.
“A number of cargo handling equipment have also been purchased; ship-to-shore cranes that have also helped in pushing our turnaround times, both for containers and for general cargo and those are some of the things that has made us the best performing port in the West African sub region.”
Kumi Adjei-Sam gave an overview of the Tema port expansion project and said when completed would enable the Port of Tema handle 3.5 million TEUs. 
“Currently, we are talking about 1 million TEUs so when we finish and the trans-shipment and other facilities come, it will increase our throughput to about 3.5 million TEU’s. This is the second phase and that is why there are a lot of business opportunities and we are hoping that by June 2019 the first two berths will be completed and start commercial operations and the remaining two, to be completed in 2020.” 
He said the unavailability of an efficient rail system is a challenge bedeviling the Ports of Ghana as it gives an upper-hand to other competitors. 
The Deputy Manager of Marketing and Public Affairs at the Port of Takoradi, Peter Amo-Bediako who spoke on the topic, Serving Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry, averred that management of the port has put in place some strategic measures since the discovery of oil in 2007 to make the Port of Takoradi a dominant oil and gas hub in West Africa. 

“From January to June 2018 we have so far handled about 904 vessels and out of it 54% is that of supply vessels so we realized that it has become very important that we position our port to be able to service the oil and gas industry,” the Dep. Manager, Marketing and Public Affairs for Takoradi Port, Peter Amo-Bediako said.  
Touching on the ongoing Takoradi port expansion works, he said there are several business opportunities for investments.  
“The future looks bright I must say, we all remember in December 2017, ITLAWS that is the international tribunal for the law of the seas ruled in favor of Ghana regarding the dispute with ivory coast and this has paved way for development drilling to go on in Ghana. Already Acre energy and Springfield have approved the port and they want to operate from the port because of our proximity a lot of companies are knocking on our doors to come to Takoradi port.”


Protecting Ghana’s waters and maritime space has become a lot more necessary in recent times more than ever.

This is because Ghana’s waters are gradually witnessing almost all the forms of crimes undertaken on the sea and experiencing the disasters that are reported at sea.

Few weeks ago, incidents of piracy were recorded in Ghanaian waters and subsequently an oil vessel divided into two at the anchorage of Tema Port, leaving some oil spillages at its waters. Again, recently, the Ghana Ports Security has arrested a number of people engaging in illegal ship-to-ship transfer of oil in the Ghanaian waters.

To effectively tackle and prevent such crises in Ghana’s maritime space, the Ghana Maritime Authority in collaboration with Inter-Regional Coordination Centre of the Maritime Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea, and the European Union's Gulf of Guinea Inter-Regional Network has organized a Crisis Response Training exercise at The Tema Naval Base and the Port of Tema.

The four-day Crisis Response Training exercise was organized to equip African Maritime Administrations with techniques to curb piracy and armed robbery incidence in Ghana’s maritime domain.

Personnel were drawn from institutions which include the Port Security, Ghana Navy, Marine Police, National Security, Ghana Immigration Service, Customs division of GRA, NADMO among other security agencies who play key roles in securing Ghana’s maritime waters.
Security experts lectured the participants to equip them with techniques that will enable them fight crime at sea.

A practical exercise was also carried out in turns, with some personnel going on-board a Helicopter while others were on-board a Speed boat and a Navy Vessel at the Tema Port to foster collaborative efforts between the security players.
“So we activated and used all those who matter when it comes to emergencies at our sea so that how the exercise ended and it was very successful. Everybody played his or her part according to what had been arranged”, said the former FOC, Eastern Naval Command, Commodore Steve Darbo (RTD).
The Agencies in the maritime sector were trained on various forms of collaborative response to emergency issues on the country’s waters. 
The over 40 participants were grouped into cells in crises management including intervention cell, logistics cell, Think Tank Cell and Public Relations Cell. The various cells were then taken through several forms of drills by trainers from the European Union Gulf of Guinea inter-regional network on dealing with pirate attacks, as well as illegal oil transfer on the country's maritime domain. 
They conducted a well-organized response stimulation exercise jointly to counter an oil bunkering exercise on sea as well as render medical services to persons who will be injured at sea. “Well in terms of equipment, we do have the equipment we do have to bring in private drones we have to come in with satellite imagery whereby we will be able to see real pictures. We told you we were looking for a vessel, if you have a satellite imagery, or if you have in real time, you will be able to see where the vessel is before they come into anchorage so those are some of the things we need to make investments and I think as a growing maritime country we are almost ready to invest to make sure we can keep illicit activities from our waters”, the Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu explained.
Addressing the media after the exercise, Commodore Steve Darbo (RTD), a former FOC at the Eastern Naval Command and a Security expert described the exercise as very successful adding that it will help in combating piracy and other illegal activities.
The Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, stated that security on Ghana’s waters is still intact but there is the need to further tighten the borders to fight against illicit activities and maritime crime.

Bunkering operations refer to the storage of petroleum products in tanks, and the practice and business of refueling ships at sea ports.
Officially opening a conference for the 2018 Maritime Week Africa, organized by Petrospot and hosted by the leading oil marketing company in Ghana, GOIL, the Minister for Energy, Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko touted Ghana as a destination of choice for bunkering activities and widely considered around the world to be one of the best countries to conduct bunkering operations in West Africa.

“Ghana is open to investment and is reaching out for mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships in the bunkering industry. Ghana remains a very attractive country to do business and this is due to its favorable democratic political climate, strong and reliable legal and regulatory institutions, as well as a robust financial system,” he touted. 
Government, according to him is set to create an offshore Bunkering zone to aid liquid cargo business as a means of refueling and maintenance for vessels.
He said the designated ship to ship and Bunkering zone is to be created outside the Tema and Takoradi ports.
“These bunker zones, that will include both anchor and drifting zones, will ensure a drastic reduction in the risk of piracy during offshore bunkering operations, improve maritime security, enhance collection of tariffs, and curb illegal fuel smuggling, adulteration of fuel and unscrupulous blending of fuel.” 
The port expansion projects at Takoradi and Tema, he noted will further ensure that the needs of bigger vessels operating in the oil and maritime business are better served. 
Benjamin Torkonoo, Head of Operations of GOIL said the company is doing all it can to take advantage of the several opportunities in the upstream, midstream and downstream petroleum industry.
“Ghana is an emerging oil and gas producer. The industry is expanding with more and more field developments, opportunities abound, next five years we see more developments in the increased production of oil and gas,” he stated. 

Director of Pricing, Planning and Research, at the National Petroleum Authority, Alpha Welbeck stressed the challenges, guidelines and the way forward for Regulating the Bunkering Industry in Ghana. 
“Another key point that we are looking at is the collaboration with the state agencies; the Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Navy and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority,” she informed. 
The Managing Director of Petrospot Limited, Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes said that the session was to look at developments in Ghana’s oil and gas sector and ways in which this is driving trading activities between Ghana, its neighbours and the wider world. 
The Maritime Week Africa is the only international bunkering event focused entirely on Africa. This year’s program focuses on what Africa is doing to prepare for the 2020 global 0.5% Sulphur cap. The conference also examined the options for African refiners and suppliers and how to engage in effective bunkering operations.


The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime [UNODC] with funding from the government of Japan has handed over two patrol boats known as “alligator boats” to the Ghana Marine Police unit in Tema.

The donation is part of a broader project worth $629,000 to support maritime law enforcement in the fight against maritime crime in the sub region particularly in Ghana, Liberia and Serra Leone.

The Japan Ambassador to Ghana, Tsutomu Himeno said Japan is interested in ensuring peace and stability in the oceans as the sea serves as a major means of economic cooperation among nations.

“Maritime security is indispensable not only for the safety of the people, security of the people, but also for greater trade and investment relations for Ghana, with other countries.”

The Inspector General of Police, David Asante Appeatu congratulated the government of Japan and UNODC for their massive support to the Police Service over the years.

He said the police administration is committed to enhancing its operational capabilities, revamping the CID and making community policing a key policing intervention towards crime prevention and community safety.

“In enhancing our operational capabilities, we are mindful of the important role the onshore and offshore security, can play in our integrated approach. Therefore, this support from the Japan government facilitated by UNODC, two reliable partners for years could not have come at a better time,” he opined. 

The IGP used the ceremony to make an appeal to individuals, organizations and agencies to consider in their annual budgets some space within their corporate social responsibilities to support the Police.

“Security is a shared responsibility, and if we tackle it collectively we will be secured individually. The Ghana Police Service will continue to build our successes upon our successes, as we look at providing the needed security both physically and virtually,” he said.

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