Liberia: Port Authority Imposes Additional US$175 Levy on Container Owners for Tracking

share on:

MONROVIA – The National Port Authority (NPA) has signed a container tracking deal with Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions, Liberia – a company chased out of Sierra Leone for allegedly defrauding the Sierra Leonean government over US$11 million. 

Based on the agreement, GMT Solutions would be tracking all containers coming to and passing through all sea ports in the country at an additional fee of US$175.00.
“The National Port Authority Informs All Stakeholders especially importers, exporters and carriers 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/Export/Forwarders at the various ports of loading around the world. You are therefore required to obtain a validated CTN number the online platform using the online platform…,” an Enforcement Notice from the NPA stated.

Information gathered is that the shipping lines would not be responsible for the extra cost, therefore, owners of the containers would bare the cost.

Many importers have questioned the essence of extra tracking numbers when the shipping lines already put tracking numbers on the containers.

However, Mr. Malcom Scott, Communications Director at the National Port Authority (NPA) told FrontPage Africa that the extra fee would generate more revenue for government. Initially, he had said on the Costa Show on Roots FM in Monrovia that the CTN tracking number would help the government track importers who have been undeclaring the content of their containers.

ALSO READ   ECOWAS Pushes For Free Movement

But the contracting company has come under immense criticism for their role in neighboring Sierra Leone. 

Real Money-Making Venture

An NPA source informed FrontPage Africa that Liberia receives up to 2,000 containers monthly. This mean, there are prospects that the company would earn approximately US$350,000 monthly for issuing tracking numbers which every ship already issues to the consignees.

The additional fee is likely to cause inflation in the country as the prices of goods may go up to commensurate with the cost of importation.

The Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions Holdings Ltd. succeeded in securing the lucrative contract for container tracking following the inauguration of the government of President George Manneh Weah and the subsequent appointment of Madam Celia Cuffey-Browne as Acting Managing Director until Bill Twehway took over as Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA).

The company found its way in Liberia after it was kicked out of Sierra Leone for graft through the fight against corruption under the Julius Madaa Bio regime.

Related Posts

Dissolved in the UK

ALSO READ   Ja’neh’s Full Trial Begins

Records available reveal that Global Tracking and Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions Holdings Ltd was incorporated as a private company in the United Kingdom in May 2016 under company number Company number 10187497

but was dissolved two years later in October. 

It is, however, not clear why it was dissolved.

Bad Record in Sierra Leone

According to reports, on 27 November 2014, the Government of Sierra Leone (as ‘sponsor’) and Transport and Ports Management Systems, West Africa, Sierra Leone (TPMS, WA-SL), as contractor, signed a contract. The company was contracted to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) in its non-core activities.

An addendum to this agreement was agreed and signed on 20 April 2017. The agreement and addendum tasked the TPMS, WA-SL to track and monitor all cargos brought into and leaving the port of Sierra Leone. The company levies import and export fees on every cargo, with a schedule of payments set into the contract.

The company was to keep 60% of this and Sierra Leonean Government was to be given 40%. By this agreement, TPMS should have deposited into Government’s Consolidated Fund US$10,990,216 and in 2018 the amount would have been US$4,036,068.

ALSO READ   Liberia: CBL’s Matthew Innis Laid To Rest

The company was to pay penalty charges of 12% on payments to the Government. Since the signing of the agreement, official records show that TPMS has paid only US$1 million.

The records also indicate that in 2016, the APC Government, without explanation, had this profit-sharing arrangement based on percentage of profit revoked, and pegged Government’s receipts from the ports at US $331,000 – a massive potential loss of US $10 million in just two years to the time that the current Government took office.

Since the contract was signed, TMPS has not honored its responsibility under the contract to provide Global Tracking & Maritime Reports to GoSL and NRA, amidst reports of under-invoicing of shipping items or goods, resulting in significant loss of revenue by Government.

The GTT understands that this corrupt arrangement was made to profit Sahr William Ngegba, a major APC donor and Director of the company, at the expense of the GoSL. Mr. Ngegba is also behind a project to expand the seaport at the extortionate cost of almost US $700 million.

The GTT strongly recommends that Mr. Sahr Ngegba be investigated and made to account for the US $10 million that the GoSL lost after this fraudulent arrangement was confected.

Leave A Comment Below
Tags:
share on: