Council suspends ports surcharge on Lagos cargoes by Singaporean company

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The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has directed Singaporean shipping giant, CMA/CGM to suspend its planned collection of $400 port congestion surcharge imposed on cargoes berthing at Lagos ports.

The Singaporean shipping giant had recently announced that cargoes from any part of the world on any of its ships would attract extra “USD 400/EUR 850 per 20′ Dry and Reefer and USD 400/EUR 350 per 40′ Dry and Reefer.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos reports that the surcharge was to have taken off on Monday, Oct. 15.

Following notification of the surcharge, the Shippers’ Council intervened and declared it illegal, null and void and fixed a meeting for Monday with the various shipping lines operating in Nigeria.

Mr Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, NSC confirmed to newsmen that the decision to suspend collection of the surcharge was taken after a closed door meeting with stakeholders in Lagos.

“We have met with the shipping companies that introduced the charges and we are still meeting again, but what we said was that whether they are surcharges or local charges, it must be cleared with the council.

“Due process was not followed, so the shipping companies will go back to their principal to convey the outcome to the carriers.

“They cannot just charge arbitrarily, first of all, NSC opposed the charges especially because of the economy; secondly, the procedure is wrong, you can’t just slam charges without telling us.

“We told them to suspend or stop the charges and consult their principal before the next meeting,’’ the NSC boss said.

Bello said that another meeting would be held soon to conclude on the matter.

NAN reports that the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) threatened to drag the Managing Director of CMA/CGM Shipping Company, Mr. Todd Rives to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should the company go ahead with the surcharge. (NAN)

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