NIGERIA SHIPPERS' COUNCIL SETS TO REFUND DEMURRAGE
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has called on freight forwarders charged demurrage by shipping lines for delay in clearance of freights, from March 30 to May 3 to come for refunds.
Earlier, the NSC had met with the Shipping Association of Nigeria in April and agreed that payment of demurrage should be put on hold amid coronavirus lockdown.
Demurrage is a charge required as compensation for the delay of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure.
It was gathered that while majority of the shipping lines had issued notices to their affiliates in Nigeria and importers informing them of the suspension of demurrage during the period, others had continued issuing debit notes to freight forwarders for demurrage charges.
In a statement signed by its Head of Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu, NSC stated,
“It has come to the notice of the management of the council that some freight forwarders and shippers have difficulties with regard to the issue of refund of demurrage charges and are still billed despite the suspension.
“Such persons are encouraged to contact the council through the helplines and e-mail addresses published on the NSC website and other social media handles.
A crisis has been looming among freight forwarders in Nigeria’s maritime industry following the non-adherence of terminal operators and shipping firms to comply with the directive of the Federal Government as some operators threatened to shut down port operations.
The waiver palliative was arranged by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and Nigerian Ports Authority as a relief to shippers/consignees to cushion the effects of lockdowns imposed on Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.