Nigeria News
FG slashes port charges by 20%

IN a bid to stop Nigeria-bound cargoes from being diverted to ports of neighbouring countries, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, yesterday slashed charges by as much as 20 percent.

This is the first time the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is stamping its authority as the economic regulator of the ports.

In a public notice made available to Vanguard, the council reeled out interventions in the commercial relationships between users and providers of shipping and terminal handling services in all the nation’s sea ports.

The council in the public notice to terminal operators and shipping companies, announced major reviews of some controversial levies and charges, over which importers and clearing agents had often protested.

Specifically, the interventions, which are expected to take effect from November 3, 2014, include progressive storage charge and free storage period for terminal operators.

It also came hard on shipping line agency charge, container deposit, container cleaning and maintenance charge, and container demurrage for shipping companies.

In the case of terminal operators, they have been ordered to reverse collections in respect of progressive storage charge, free storage period to the pre-May 2009 rates approved by the Minister of Transport.

Similarly, the council increased the container storage free days’ grace to seven days, up from three days that the terminal operators had been allowing.

It also pegged the maximum charge for storage to N10,000, irrespective of the number of days imported containers would stay at the terminal.

On the controversial (refundable) container deposit charge, the council ordered that with effect from November 3, 2014, the deposit must be refunded to the importer or the clearing agent within 10 days after the return of the container or pay interest rate on such deposit for the number of days the refund was not made.

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