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Don’t detain our cargo over Freight Forwarders’ failure to pay POF – shippers

Worried by the likely cost implication of delay in delivering of consignments to importer’s warehouses, Shippers Association of Lagos State has warned the management of Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) not to use shippers’ cargo as bait to punish its members.

According to them, if freight forwarders fail to fulfill their obligations to their regulator, it’s entirely a personal breach between the regulatory body and the individual or corporate entity in question.

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Jonathan Nicol, president of the association, commended the CRFFN for introducing the new Practitioners Operation Fee (POF) regime.

Nicol, who expressed worry that freight forwarders do not own the cargo, told BusinessDay on phone that shippers’ cargo cannot be held in detention for failure of the freight forwarders to pay his or her practicing fee.

“This will be a burden on the shipper and might lead to conflict in the nearest future. It is not a crime to consign our cargo for clearance through the members of CRFFN. Detention of our cargo will be contested by us. The Nigerian Shippers’ Council should protect our interests in this regard,” he stated.

Recall that CRFFN recently said that henceforth, the payment of POF will now be required to take delivery of cargoes from the ports.

Disclosing this to stakeholders in meeting held recently in Lagos, Sam Nwakohu, registrar of the Council said the Federal Ministry of Finance has approved that only ‘POF’ paying freight forwarders are allowed to clear cargoes from the ports.

He stated that the POF regime would be a win-win for everybody, adding that integrating the POF will build capacity for effective participation in new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) regime.

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