Conclude stakeholder engagement before implementing marine insurance scheme —GUTA tells NIC

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has asked the National Insurance Commission (NIC) to halt any move to start the implementation of a local marine insurance scheme to conclude all stakeholder engagements.

The Commission had announced that effective September 1, all commercial shipments without local marine insurance would not be allowed to clear goods into the country (apart from personal goods or imports).

However, GUTA has noted that there were issues that needed to be resolved between stakeholders, including the trading community and the regulator, before the enforcement of the law.

Dr Joseph Obeng told the Ghana News Agency that: “The private sector has raised a lot of issues about this programme; stakeholder engagement has not been exhausted, and grey areas have not been ironed out.”

“Therefore, they should put the implementation on hold till all these things have been done and intensive public education is carried out before the scheme be considered; otherwise, we’ll not allow them (NIC) to bring it,” Dr Obeng added.

Section 222 of the Insurance Act 2021 (Acts1016) states that: “Any person who imports goods, other than personal effects into the country shall insure the goods with an insurer licensed under this Act.”

The law emphasises that a person who contravenes Section 222 of the Act commits an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than two thousand-five hundred penalty units (GHS24,000) and not more than 15 thousand penalty units (GHS180,000) or a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than three years or to both.

This section of the Act, since the passage of the law has not been implemented; hence, the move by the Commission to implement it following the launch of the Marine Insurance Portal.

Speaking at the launch of the system last week, Mr Charles Ansong Dankyi, the Senior Manager, Marketing and External Relations, NIC, said that the tripartite body would work closely in developing an enabling environment to ensure that local insurance of imported goods was done seamlessly to the benefit of the public.

He noted that the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) system would not recognise any transaction without local insurance and would require the purchase of another insurance policy locally to execute the transaction.

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