The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the National Insurance Commission (NIC) have signed a Marine Cargo Insurance Protocol at a ceremony held at the Ghana Shippers’ House on 23rd December 2020.
The protocol is to ensure adherence to the Insurance Act.2006 (Act 724), which requires that with the express exception of personal belongings, all goods being imported into Ghana must necessarily be insured in Ghana.
The Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asimah, Minister of Transport and chairman of the occasion in a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Naa Densua Arteetey Head of Shippers Service and Trade Facilitation at GSA, commended the GSA, NIC and GRA for leading the charge to engender compliance with the Insurance Act,2016(Act 724).
The Minister stated that market research from the NIC’s report indicates that 6% of imports are insured locally and about 75% of importers have little or no knowledge of what insurance cover they pay for their cargo. He said that was very worrying coupled with the fact that shippers were not aware of the breach of Section 37(1,2) of Act 724.
He charged the GSA, NIC and the GRA to effectively collaborate with various stakeholders to redress the challenge.
The Chief Executive Officer of GSA Ms Benonita Bismarck in her opening address stated that Marine insurance occupies an important position in overseas trade and commerce. While affording protection against fortuitous losses it also helps shippers transfer a significant component of its risks to insurers.
Shippers importing cargo into Ghana have very little control in the rates of premium they pay abroad and most often these insurance premiums are relatively high. Where the insurance is taken abroad and there arises a need for a claim, the process is fraught with delays and extra costs to the shipper.
Ms Bismarck said the opportunity has been provided in the Insurance Act for shippers to take insurance locally for their imports. She, therefore urge shippers in Ghana to underwrite their cargo insurance locally, as this provides enormous benefits to them in the form of easy access to the insurance market and prompt payment of claims, should the need arise.
The Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta in a speech read on his behave by Dr. Benjamin Ashong, Senior Policy Adviser of the Ministry of Finance, said the signing of the Marine Insurance Protocol, is a landmark event that will ensure the development of local content in Marine Cargo Insurance for Ghana’s economic transformation.
He said over the past 4 years, the Government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has demonstrated a strong commitment and belief in the participation of Ghanaian enterprise in driving the developing agenda of the country. One goal of Government is to capitalize on the numerous opportunities in the shipping industry for the benefit and welfare of all Ghanaians now and in the future. He said this singular provision in the Law, when strictly enforced and successfully implemented will provide a boost for the Ghanaian economy directly positive impact on the local economy especially in a critical area of job creation.