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Shippers council condemns surcharges by shipping lines, takes case to global shippers forum

Shippers council condemns surcharges by shipping lines, takes case to global shippers forum

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The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has condemned the imposition of all kinds of surcharges by multi-national shipping lines  bringing cargoes into the country.

The ports economic regulator is particularly worried that most of the surcharges were imposed on Nigerian shippers contrary to the provisions of the  United Nations Conference on Trade and Development  (UNCTAD).

The  Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Hassan Bello  who  described  the surcharges as unjustifiable said  the  council  will take the matter up with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) to call the different shipping lines and their agents to order.

Bello explained that while some of the charges were  supposed to be temporary, reduced or cancelled as allowed by UNCTAD and as the situation in the ports changes, the shipping lines  have  maintained a permanent imposition of the charges on helpless shippers.

He said, “Everything that happens, even if it is in Togo or Benin Republic, is attributed to have taken place in Nigeria.  Even local infractions like somebody just enters  the ship illegally even without weapons, it is reported as incidence of piracy. But that is not piracy; it is probably robbery incident. Piracy is total command of the ship on the high sea.” 

He said the council apart from other measures locally will reach out to the GSF directly or through the African Shippers Forum (ASF) to  address the issues of surcharges.

The ASF collaborates with GSF to reach out to      shipping lines in different continents doing business with  the  West and Central African sub-region to address issues of arbitrary surcharges.

The Director, Special Duties, NSC, Mr. Tahir Idris who gave an insight into the different surcharges  told newsmen  that the shipping agencies often  ignore  to suspend the surcharges even  with the knowledge that the situation which  justified their imposition has changed.

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