Ghana: GSA Facilitates Forum on International Trade Rules

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A forum to deepen understanding of the United Nations Convention on contract for the international carriage of goods by sea, commonly referred to as “Rotterdam Rules” has been facilitated for importers and exporters in Kumasi by Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) .

The convention was meant to create more convenient environment for exporters of good and services by clearly defining the rights and obligations of both the carrier and the shipper.

Dr. Kofi Mbiah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GSA, indicated that the benefits were enormous.

It has addressed the weaknesses in the Hague-Visby and Hamburg Rules by establishing a modern, comprehensive, uniform legal regime governing the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers and consignees under a contract for door-to-door shipments that involves international sea transport.

He said the other high point that ‘it reduces the cost of international business transactions involving the carriage of goods by sea.

The forum brought together exporters, importers, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Trade and Industry Ministry and the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI)

Dr. Mbiah said the Convention, which was established in year 2009, had been signed on to by 25 countries including Ghana.

So far only three countries – Spain, Togo and Congo, have ratified the agreement.

He called for the stakeholders to embrace and to give strong backing to it to improve the quality of shipping services.

Mr. Emmanuel Kwarteng, Kumasi Branch Manager of the GSA, said they were rolling out a comprehensive programme to sensitize shippers and other stakeholders on the Convention.

The Authority had put in place a number of systems to build capacity and give real time support to shippers across the ports and boarders of Ghana, he added.

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