By Kenneth Jukpor
Following Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) recent directive to shipping lines and terminals to refund monies collected from port users as container transfer charges without the importer’s permission, G-Major and a group of freight forwarding companies has commended NSC.
The group made this appreciation in a press release issued yesterday, even as it stressed that the decision is in line with the ease of doing business agenda of the Federal Government.
The press statement read, “Our clients having read online a news piece credited to NSC instructed us to officially issue open press appreciation to the Executive Secretary and his management team for this fight and its prompt and bold regulatory pronouncement on this critical business inhibiting matter of extortive charges.”
It warned the operators to note that; “based on international standards and recognized practice, freight paid at origin covers movement of cargoes to final port of delivery at the destination.
“Therefore, cargoes earmarked for transfer to off-dockterminals, at the request of the shipping company, seaport terminal operator or off-dock terminal, without the consent of the consignees or their authorized representatives, should not attract charge(s) against the consignees”.
“Nigerian Shippers’ Council considers this act as unethical and unwholesome. Accordingly, NSC has resolved that all service providers must comply with the international standards,” the group said.
The press statement was signed by Chief Ekweozor A. Azubike, Dr. Eugene Nweke, Mr. Chinedu Ibeneme and Mr. Okechukwu Ekweozor.
Some of the directives by the NSC which has earned it commendation include; “import cargoes should be delivered to the nominated port of destination as stated in the Bill of Lading”
“Where the operational convenience of the seaport terminals or some other prevailing circumstances necessitate the transfer of cargoes from the seaport terminals to off-dock terminals, the concerned consignees or their authorized agents must be notified in good time, and must not be charged the cost associated with such transfer, including barging cost”
“Storage and demurrage charges on cargoes earmarked for transfer from seaport terminals to off-dock terminals, without the consent of the consignee, should take effect only after arriving at the designated off-dock terminals.”
“Consequently, all transfer charges collected from consignees of cargoes transferred from seaport terminals to off-dock terminals, from 1st June, 2020 to date, at the instance of the shipping companies/ agencies, seaport terminal operators orvoff-dock terminal operators, without the consignees requesting for such transfer, must be refunded to the consignees immediately. Failure to refund such charges will lead to the Council invoking its regulatory powers to enforce compliance”.
The group also noted that it looked forward to working closely with the Council, especially in the direction towards achieving regulatory goals.
The group comprised DE SKYEGOSONS GLOBALVENTURES, BENZA SOLUTIONS ENTERPRISES, MUNICH MARKETING LINKS VENTURES, METAL ROLLING COMPANY, CRONE BALLISTIC SYNCRO CRADLE LTD, RAMATU MODELS SCOP INTER BIZ LTD and BOLIVIA UNIQUE ENTERPRISES.