State agencies in ports work for efficient waste reception services


Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority’s Director General, Domain and Environment, James Benjamin Gaisie, indicated that state agencies are ready to streamline their operations for the efficient provision of waste reception services at ports in the Ghana.

Speaking on Eye on Port, Mr. Gaisie revealed that several consultations had taken place for state agencies playing their respective roles in ports to appreciate the importance of a speedy return of ships to maritime trade and this has given positive results so far.

The general manager in charge of the field and the environment of the GPHA declared that these actions were made necessary by the realization that certain statutory activities of these agencies end up inadvertently causing delays in the waste reception services in the ports.

Mr. Gaisie explained that “some of our service providers also carry out activities other than receiving waste. They may be authorized to take waste, but they could be authorized by another entity to engage in another activity. For example, handling petroleum products. Since petroleum products are commercial in nature, this has tariff implications. For this reason, Customs want to control their activities for a good reason. So even if they took waste, customs are interested. And they’ve put measures in place to make sure they’re well vetted, so they don’t potentially escape tax. It started to create problems.

He said this relatively recent practice ultimately affected vessel waiting time, as waste management service providers had to go through the necessary customs procedures before getting permission to work.

He said the objective of the Port Authority was to ensure that none of these ancillary operations such as receiving waste caused undue delays to cargo ships.
Similarly, the operations manager of one of the waste management service providers at the port of Tema, Ecostar, Samuel Addy cited the implications of the delay on shipping activities.

Mr. Samuel Addy said: “People only know about demurrage when it comes to containers, but there are demurrages on ships as well. While the authorities appreciate that each time a time-chartered vessel arrives in ports, it must be serviced and leave as soon as possible.

He lamented the approval process that takes place before they can carry out their waste reception activities.

“After boarding the ship to determine the level of waste we will be working with, you need to contact the authorities with letters requesting permission to be able to work on the ship. Permits will come from GPHA, Customs and National Security. It is only after that that we can mobilize the logistics with which to work, ”revealed Mr. Addy.

He said it was difficult for state authority officials to appreciate the urgency on the ground, and this often resulted in a long wait time to get those approvals.

Addy, however, expressed relief to learn that state agencies are working together to facilitate the process to promote efficient delivery of waste reception services at the port.

The International Maritime Organization’s MARPOL 73/78 convention requires States Parties to ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities in ports to manage operational and domestic waste discharges from ships in a manner that is respectful of the environment. the environment.

It is in accordance with this international best practice that the GPHA has partnered with approved waste management companies to provide this service.

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