The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) has revealed that over 93 per cent of Ghana’s import freight was being insured by foreign companies against the National Insurance Act.
Speaking on: “Emerging trends in Ghana’s maritime industry-the perspective of the Ghana Shippers Authority,” Mr Fred Aseidu Dartey, GSA Head of Freight and Logistics explained it is a breach of section 37 of the National Insurance Act (Act 724).
The Act stipulates that, “unless the National Insurance Commission (NIC) permitted, no person could enter into any insurance contract with an offshore insurer in respect of property situated in the country, liabilities arising in the country or goods other than personal effects being imported in the country”.
Mr Aseidu Dartey was speaking at the fifth, “GNA-Tema Stakeholder Engagement and Workers’ Appreciation Day,” seminar at the Tema Regional Office of the Ghana News Agency 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 served as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters to the professional growth and promotion of the Tema office of the Ghana News Agency as the industrial news hub, while contributing to national development.
He said: “If the act was strictly enforced, it would mean that all imports at the ports would be insured locally,” this he said would make the local insurance companies competitive, as well as accrue more benefits for both importers and exporters”.
Mr. Aseidu Dartey said in line with this, GSA was collaborating with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and the NIC to create a protocol and a middle ground to sensitize the importers to appreciate the benefits they stand to gain by transacting business with the local insurance companies.
He added that one of the advantages of having importers insuring their freights within Ghana was the easy access to the insurers should there be the need in regards to issues pertaining to their cargoes.
He observed that the local insurance companies could have a tailor-made insurance package for freights paying attention to the risks associated with importing goods to Ghana such as damages, theft, amongst others, something he noted the foreign insurance companies do not prioritize.
Touching on the mandate of the GSA, he said the Authority was a state agency operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport with the mandate including undertaking education and sensitization programmes nationwide to update importers, exporters and shipping and logistics industry stakeholders on developments in international shipping.
The GSA also negotiated freight and port charges on behalf of shippers, as well as monitored and applied the said charges.
It also conducted research on emerging issues in Ghana’s transport sector as well as establishing platforms for importers and exporters to air their concerns while demanding for shipping services.