Shippers Council, Firms Meet over $400 surcharge
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) says it will meet with all Shipping Companies over the $400 planned congestion surcharges on Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports by some Shipping Companies.
It would recalled that CMA CGM had on Sunday announced to importers and clearing agents that from Oct. 15 cargoes from any part of the world on EMA CGM ships will attract extra “USD 400 / EUR 850 per 20′ Dry and Reefer and USD 400 / EUR 350 per 40′ Dry and Reefer.
The shipping line on Thursday said that its action was based on the disruption of its activities due to the congestion in the two Lagos ports.
Mr Ignatius Nweke, Director, Special Duties NSC disclosed in a statement that the meeting would be held on Monday, Oct. 15 with shipping agencies to resolve the issue on ground.
“The meeting was in line with Council’s statutory function of regulating tariffs, rates, charges and other related economic services at the Nigerian Ports.
“This meeting would afford us an opportunity to examine this contentious issue, which would add to the costs of doing business at the Ports.
“It would be recalled that some Shipping Companies had recently issued a notice to Shippers on the introduction of congestion surcharge of $400 per container on Lagos bound cargoes,” Nweke was quoted in the statement.
Meanwhile, plans by a foreign shipping line, CMA CGM, to impose congestion surcharge on Lagos ports as a result of what it describes as high operational cost incurred due to the recent strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress have attracted threats of a boycott by clearing agents.
On Friday, the shipping line indicated that it planned to impose the congestion surcharge on Lagos ports. It wrote on its website, “Port congestion at Lagos ports, Nigeria, is currently increasing our operational costs and generating severe service disruption for several weeks.
The firm said with effect from October 15, all importers would prepay $400 for 20-foot container of dry, reefer OOG and bulk cargoes coming to Apapa and Tin Can Island ports.
This, the firm announced, would be in addition to their ocean freight.
The National Publicity Secretary, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Dr Obicee Okonkwo, maintained that the shipping line was not expected to impose arbitrary charges on anybody without due consultation with the authorities involved.
He said, “The people that are going to be directly affected by the charge are the importers, the clearing agents and the final consumers. The charge will make cargo delivery expensive. They can either reverse it or go ahead and risk people boycotting their services.”
In a statement, the Vice president of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto, advised all Nigerian importers to stop shipping their cargoes through the company.
He argued that already, shipping companies were collecting N60,000 administrative charge on all 40-foot containers, despite the contract of affreightment entered into by the importer and the shipping lines abroad and payment of freight.