The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) has expressed disappointment at the announcement by the National Insurance Commission (NIC) on no clearance for all commercial shipments into Ghana without Local Marine Insurance from September 01, 2022.
The NIC stated that it had earmarked September 01, 2022, for the implementation of the compulsory local marine insurance policy, indicating that without Local Marine Insurance cover, all commercial shipments into the country cannot be cleared.
Reacting to the scheduled implementation, the IEAG in a statement signed by Mr Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tema described the policy as a lazy approach by the NIC to rake in revenue.
“The NIC attempts to ride on the Insurance Act 2021 (Acts 1016) is not only a desperate move to make money at the expense of the ordinary Importer but also an act of insensitivity to the struggling business community,” it stated.
It indicated that per the maritime trading environment, the onus was on the supplier to insure goods that were being transported to a local receiver, therefore questioning how a receiver could insure goods that were on high seas.
It added that in some instances, some marine shipments that were cleared at Ghana’s port came with Cargo Freight Insurance value (CIF), meaning they had already been insured by the supplier.
“The NIC should rather focus it strengths and powers on being innovative in ways of making revenues, without hiding behind an LI to rip local Importers of their sweat,” it stated adding that “The move by the NIC if not reviewed or scrapped will rather come back to hurt local businesses, since any additional cost in insuring already insured cargo, will be passed on to the consumer.”
It expressed surprise and accused the Ghana Shippers Authority which is mandated to act in the interest of Shippers, as rather championing the policy with the help of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and the Ghana Insurance Commission to allegedly rip off the group of people they were mandated to fight for.
According to the IEAG, the timing of the implementation of the compulsory insurance policy was misplaced considering the hardship local businesses and importers faced due to the economic downfall.
The Association, therefore, called on the NIC to shelve the marine insurance policy and revisit the negotiating table with stakeholders to take their inputs and suggestions to make it a win-win for all.