The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) has called for strict enforcement of the National Insurance Act, (Act 724) at the various ports in the country to ensure that the local insurance companies benefit from the maritime industry.
The Insurance Act, (Act 724) states in section 37(1) that “unless authorized by the Commission, a person shall not enter into a contract of insurance with an offshore insurer in respect of: Property situate in the country, Liabilities arising in the country, or Goods, other than personal effects, being imported into the country.
“Section 37(2) further states that “A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence,” Mr Fred Aseidu Dartey, GSA Head of Freight and Logistics was speaking on: “Emerging trends in Ghana’s maritime industry-the perspective of the Ghana Shippers Authority”.
Mr Aseidu-Dartey was speaking at the fifth, “GNA Stakeholder Engagement and Workers’ Appreciation Day at Tema,” seminar which is a progressive media caucus platform created to give opportunity to state and non- state actors to interact with journalists and address nation issues.
The event also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters to the professional growth and promotion of the GNA in Tema as the industrial news hub, while contributing to national development.
He said the law was therefore, aimed at ensuring that all imported goods were insured locally, “if a person imports goods into the country on Cost-Insurance-Freight (CIF) basis with insurance undertaken outside Ghana, then that person is clearly in breach of the law”.
“Once the goods dock at the port, their insurance covers expire, importers are therefore required to take additional insurance policies to cover the risk in transporting their goods to the warehouse or to the final destination”.
Mr. Aseidu-Dartey said it was a breach of sections 37 of the National Insurance Act (Act 724) to enter into any insurance contract with an offshore insurer in respect of property situated in Ghana, unless the National Insurance Commission (NIC) permited it.
According to him, if the act was enforced it would mean all imports at the ports would be insured locally to make the local insurance companies competitive and accrue more benefits to both importers and exporters.
He said the Ghanaian insurance market had not benefited much from the huge investments in infrastructure and high value of imports and exports in the shipping industry.
Mr Aseidu-Dartey also revealed that payment of offshore insurance premiums constituted high cost to the Importer in terms of foreign exchange losses and bank charges.
He said GSA activities were therefore geared towards the protection and promotion of the interest of shippers in Ghana’s commercial shipping sector in relation to international trade and transport logistics.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, Tema Regional Manager of GNA said the Agency used the platform to deepen the working relations with the stakeholders to for both the media and the corporate world to work together towards national development.
The event also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters to the professional growth and promotion of GNA as the industrial news hub, while contributing to national development in general.
Other speakers included: Dr Stephen Ayisi-Addo, Programme Manager National AIDS/STI Control Programme who spoke on: “Workplace policy on HIV/AIDS, who enforces it: legal basis for churches demanding HIV/AIDS test from would be partners? Role of partners of infected individual”.
Mr Timothy Anyidoho and Mr George Okwabi Frimpong, members of the License Surveyors Association of Ghana who spoke on: “the authority in charge of management of stool or skin, clan or family lands; role of Customary Land Secretariat; Systems of recording and registering land and interests in land; What is electronic conveyancing; and Procedures under the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, 201”.