FRENCH shipping giant CMA CGM announced that the US$155 per TEU and $265 per FEU terminal handling charge levied at Ghana's Tema and Takoradi ports on July 20 has been suspended.
This follows a protest over the extra charge from Ghana's President John Mahama, who called for the immediate end to terminal charges, reports citi97.3fm news.
At the time of its introduction, CMA CGM said: "Due to the significant increase in operational charges in Ghana, CMA CGM wishes to inform its customers that a terminal handling charge will be implemented."
The charge was applied July 20 on all import and export cargo from/to the ports of Tema and Takoradi, in addition to the ocean freight and payable in Ghana.
There was also an "Evacuation Fee" which was introduced to cover unbalanced logistics costs, and one that was cancelled from the implementation date of the terminal handling charge.
President Mahama said the charges hold no legal basis and as such should not be charged or implemented by the shipping lines.
All the major industry groups protested the CMA CGM charges and called for sanctions shipping lines that ignored Transport Minister Fiifi Kwetey's request to end them.
Nonetheless, CMA CGM will communicate on the resumption of the charge in due course.
Said President Mahama: "I take the complaints very seriously. I am advised that there are no legal bases. This must be implemented immediately'.
Earlier, the regulatory Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) warned it would deal with shipping companies who were still charging importers the THC fee.
Meanwhile the Ship Owners and Agents Associations of Ghana (SOAAG) have rejected assertions that they are flouting a directive not to charge Terminal Handling Charges.
Said SOAAG vice president Adam Umoro Ayana said it would not act contrary to the laws of Ghana.
"We are law abiding companies. Our doors are opened and we can sit and discuss as we have our customers who are dear to the shipping line and we are always there to assist them," he said.
"So if there is any issue the business associations should come and we sit down and discuss it, we don't have to take the law into our own hands and act against anyone," he said.