The Transit Shipper Committee of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) held a meeting Wednesday March 29, 2018 in Accra to discuss pertinent issues affecting trade facilitation on Ghana’s transit corridor.
The committee discussed issues arising out of Ghana’s Trade Mission to Burkina Faso; Ghana-Burkina Faso Railway Interconnectivity Project; performance of an e-platform for reporting non-tariff barriers along the corridor among others
Topical among issues discussed was the inconsistencies in axle load readings at the mandatory weighing points dotted along the corridor and the frustrations truck drivers are exposed to in the process.
Shippers who load 6-axle trucks above the approved limit of 60 tonnes per truck are penalised to shed off the excess load and also pay stipulated fines. This has led to delays and also damage to cargoes especially perishable goods.
As part of measures to address the inconsistencies recorded in the axle load readings, the Committee members called for regular calibration of the weighing bridge machines and also charged the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) to closely monitor the operations of private companies manning the bridges.
In a related development, members of the Committee bemoaned the pending implementation of the UEMOA-Ghana “roadmap” for the implementation of axle weight controls for trucks plying their corridors.
Effective April 1, 2018, the axle load limit of 51 tonnes per 6-axle truck in accordance with the Axle Load Regulations under Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (L.I. 2180) becomes operational.
However, operators have raised concerns about the need to ensure that the neighbouring countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin comply with the UEMOA agreement on axle load limits to ensure uniformity in compliance and enforcement within the sub-region.
The Transit Shipper Committee was established by the GSA to address challenges faced by shippers along Ghana’s transit corridor and also deepen Ghana’s trading relationship with Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
The Committee draws its membership from organisations such the GSA, GHA, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Burkina Shippers’ Council, Mali Shippers’ Council, Niger Shippers’ Council, Ministries of Trade and Industry, Transport, Roads and Highways, state agencies whose activities affect trade facilitation, associations of truck drivers and other private stakeholders in the maritime and transport industry.