• Friday, May 24, 2024
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SALS commends NPA, NSC for granting demurrage waivers to shippers

Shippers Association Lagos State (SASL) has commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) for securing demurrage and storage waivers for cargo owners to cover the period of compulsory lockdown embarked on to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

To SALS, the lockdown made it impossible for shippers to pay Customs duties as expected because many banks were shut down.

“Factories and offices were also shut. So, there were gross limitations on shippers to do the needful. Shippers should not be sanctioned for a situation that was no fault of theirs,” said Jonathan Nicol, president of SALS.

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Nicol, who estimated losses to the lockdown at over N5 trillion, appealed to the Council to prevail on Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC to emulate the NPA to waive their handling charges on cargo for the period of battling the pandemic, stating that the offices of these agencies were shut as well.

He also commended the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and freight forwarders for their sacrifices and continued activities during this period.

While stating that a lot of empty containers would have been evacuated as well to ease the movement of trucks in and out of Apapa Port, Nicol pointed out the need for all to come together to make the Nigerian port environment enviable.

“We suggest that shippers who paid demurrages to terminal and shipping operators should provide the receipt of payment and their terminal Delivery Order because we would approach the Council to ensure that people get a refund,” he assured.