31 December 2016, Lagos – The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, (NSC), and the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA) have moved to tackle the newly introduced charges by shipping companies with a view to cancelling the payment.
Executive Secretary and Chief Executive of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello told Vanguard the Council was aware of the introduction and that between the NSC and NPA, the matter was being handled.
Bello said that there no consultation before the new charges were introduced adding that the parties involved were discussing the matter with a view to finding a solution.
Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, (ANLCA), Mr. Kayode Farinto said his group was aware of the introduction adding that it will be resisted Farinto told Vanguard that if the maritime sector was properly harnessed, it could take Nigeria out of recession.
“Be assured that we will resist it, the new port charges cannot stay, and we will not allow it, we will come with our position on the matter after the holidays,”he said
It will recalled that a group of Customs agents under the aegis of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, (NCMDLCA), petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the recently introduced shipping companies’ charges which it described as illegal.
The Council in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari protested the recent increase by shipping companies called government and port taxes. In the petition dated December 21, 2016, it was indicated that the introduction of the additional shipping charges was introduced through a circular issued on dated October 28 by shipping companies to their customers which is currently being implemented.
The letter which was signed by the President of the Council, Mr. Lucky Amiwero said that the shipping companies introduce all kinds of illegal and unapproved charges because there was nobody regulating them.
The new charge of N38,000 per container was done without any government consultation adding that the moves was also against the provision of the Legislative instruments and the MOU signed by all stakeholders.
The group explained that every payment for the carriage of a cargo has been made at the port of loading by the shipper and that any other charges by the shipping companies in Nigeria are illegal and amount to double charges.
The group said “The responsibility of the carrier for the goods under the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of goods by Sea covers the period during which the carrier is in charge of the goods at the port of loading during the carriage and at the port of discharge.”