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Shippers’ Council overhaul downwards terminal operators tariffs

 The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Friday
in Lagos, announced the downward overhaul of Progressive Storage Charges by
terminal operators at the nation’s seaports.

Progressive  storage charges are fees paid by importers or agents to terminal operators for
warehousing imported goods pending evacuation from ports.

According to
the NSC, the reversal was in line with stakeholders’ agreement with the Federal
Government in May 2009.

Mr Ignatius
Nweke, Head, Public Affairs of the NSC, said that the order to reverse the
tariffs would be effective from Nov. 3, 2014.

He said that
the Council, in its new role as Ports Economic Regulator, was living up to its
responsibility to ensure that tariffs were not increased unilaterally.

According to
him, the tariff reversal was reached after due consultations with all terminal
operators and other stakeholders.

 “The NSC observed that Progressive Storage
Charge was reviewed unilaterally in violation of the approval given by the
Minister of Transport on May 1, 2009.

“In the said
approval, it was emphasised that the rates are the absolute maximum any
terminal operator is allowed to charge.

“Under no
circumstances shall any terminal operator charge any shipper any amount higher
than the approved rates.

“In view of
the above, all terminal operators are hereby ordered to revert to the rates
approved by government in May 2009,” it said.

The approved
tariff showed that N750 to N5, 000 are new rates for 20ft containers depending
on the categorisation.

The 40ft
containers attract new rates of N1,500 to N10, 000 depending on the time that
container spends in the terminal.

The council
in addition increased the free period for importers from three to seven days in
line with international average practices.

NSC insisted
also that for proper, efficient and equitable application of the Progressive
Storage Charges, terminal operators must position containers for examination
not later than 36 hours after any appointment.

The council
in turn said that terminal operators must bear the demurrage caused by delays
where a terminal operator fails to position a container for examination on
scheduled date.

It said that
in this regard, storage charges should not apply for the days thereafter and up
to the date when the container is positioned for examination.

The terminal
operators were also directed to operate an examination bay where all containers
confirmed for examination could be positioned in one layer and not staked.

 “Once a consignee or a clearing agent submits
necessary documents and makes a request for an invoice from the terminal
operator, such invoice must be issued on the same day.

 “When a consignee or his clearing
agent/transporter presents a terminal Delivery Order (TDO) to the terminal
operator, the terminal operator shall locate the container without undue delay.

 If any delay occurs, storage shall not be
charged for the period of such delay,” NSC said.

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