‘Shipping to Liberia to get More Expensive,’ LCC Warns

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LCC President Mr. Addy.

As NPA rolls out new platform which, Liberia Chamber of Commerce says, “adds no value”

The Liberia Chamber of Commerce has warned the Liberian government of imminent and severe food and other assorted goods shortages if it implements the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) deal with Global Maritime Tracking Solution (GMTS).

The CTN deal, which is implemented by the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the National Port Authority (NPA) in partnership with GTMS, will see the company tracking all containers coming to and passing through all seaports in the country at an additional cost of US$175.

An LCC statement said the move by the government is duplicating requirements that are already being complied with by the importers of cargoes into the country, and it will also pose an additional financial burden on businesses and consumers.

“It also makes shipping to Liberia more expensive for suppliers outside of the country and adds no value to export and import. The essence of the GMTS agreement is to allow one company to make money from importers and exporters’ own information generated during their purchases and sales internationally,” the LCC said.

The LCC’s statement further added that, at present, they are still in limbo as to how much the fees per container could be, as GMTS, in its own presentation at their office, indicated it would charge up to 120 Euros per container, while suppliers have stated that they are being charged up to 480 Euros per container.

“The NPA is planning to start this process this month, ignoring the concerns of the LCC, which were communicated to them in a letter dated January 25, 2019.

“Because of this action, the suppliers are currently refusing to ship pending cargoes until the issue can be sorted out. This means there will be an imminent scarcity of commodities on the Liberian market when the current goods available are consumed,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the LCC also said unlike BIVAC (Bureau Veritas Group Company), GMTS as a company is not fully prepared to take on this new challenge due to their lack of representatives around the world.

“They will simply rely on importers’ own documents to provide the service they proposed to deliver. Clearly, the online platform that GMTS is keen to introduce cannot guarantee any due diligence in comparison with the existing system BIVAC, Commerce and ASYCUDA are offering,” the statement said.

Due to negative effects the GMTS agreement will have on the country’s economy, the LCC statement noted that the government must halt the implementation of the agreement and must also agree to their request for a meeting to harmonize the situation before it escalates into a matter that could create tension in stakeholders of the economy.

The GMTS agreement, according to a local daily, was signed under the leadership of  Celia Cuffy-Browne as Acting Managing Director and approved by Bill Twehway, who is now the Managing Director of the NPA.

To ensure its determination to enforce the decision, the National Port Authority, in a statement to stakeholders, especially importers, exporters and carriers, noted that the Cargo Tracking Note/Advanced Cargo Declaration (CTN/ACD) system started from January 1, 2019, for all shipments to any destination port, including transit through Liberia. Shippers, exporters and forwarders at the various ports of loading around the world are therefore required to obtain a validated CTN number in order to use its online platform.

4 COMMENTS

  1. guinea sierra leone, and ivory coast will benefit as shippers will opt for those countries and then drive their shipments to Liberia. simple math. this PROPOOR government is hurting the poor and helping the weah cronies and government officials. why is there a repetition of services with the CTN numbers?

  2. Presently, the cost of shipping a car to Liberia is costly! Cars shipped from Gunea and sold on the Liberian Market are by far cheaper! It is a waste of money to ship cars from Europe and America via the Free Port of Liberia. Those silly and ungrateful people are living off diaspora Liberians through remittances and shipping! The problem of liquidity will continue because those people of no or with very little economic knowledge are placed in key economic places! No sound fiscally discipline expert managing the Port of Monrovia, Commence, and Finance!

  3. $175 for what? Only the rich business people will flood the market now because they can pay. The small business will die. Da it there. Voting has consequences.

    All these years goods have been coming into the country and this late time these so-called appointees with no experience just signing things right and left. How have all the past shipment been coming to Liberia ? you think the container just flew without tracking number? I bet if you look inside it some girlfriend, or foreign friend getting their cut. Stop all containers. Liberia is closed for business..

    We will stay long long inside. When the containers go and the fish go, then we will open our eyes.

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