A vehicle-carrying vessel, Grandi Morocco owned by Grimaldi Shipping was last week delayed at the PTML Terminal at the Tin Can Island Port for five days over reconciliation challenges with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on what is suspected as the collection of the 7% port surcharge. Stakeholders at the terminal confirmed to Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week that clearing agents could not take delivery of imported vehicles aboard the vessel; Grandi Morocco for five days while the phase-off with NIMASA lasted.
Speaking with our correspondent at the weekend however, General Manager of the PTML terminal, operators of Grimaldi Shipping Company, Mr. Tunde Keshinro described the development as a minor work hitches that have been resolved.
But, a clearing agent who is spokesman for the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at the terminal, Mr. Ayo Sulaiman lamented that there was quayside congestion at the terminal and that no vehicle could come into the terminal from the ship and none transferred to the PTML terminal at Mile 2 area.
He said that the challenge went on for five days and that PTML has decided to waive one of the days as demurrage-free for importers.
"They have been able to resolve the challenge to a reasonable extent according to the information from Grimaldi Shipping, the issue disturbed Grandi Morocco from discharging, but what Grimaldi Shipping told us was that they were doing reconciliation with NIMASA"
"They did not admit that they were owing NIMASA, but the discharge of Grandi Morocco was delayed, and because of that, we requested that they should give additional two days free period, they granted us additional one day, but we are looking at it that the one day would not be enough"
"NIMASA has certain royalty it collects from terminal operators as their vessels are coming into the ports, we are the ones paying this money indirectly because the terminal operators collect a fee of 7% from us, we are paying this money but they lure it under NPA"
"The vessel is expected to sail out today after being delayed for about five days. For those five days, you cannot even access your consignment. Normally they give us three days free period"
"After discharging at ship side, they could not move the cars because it was massive, so there was quayside congestion, this affected movement of vehicles to various terminals and this is a serious delay which can take three to four days", Sulaiman said.
While responding to inquiries by our correspondent at the weekend, the General Manager of PTML Terminal, Tunde Keshinro said there was no challenge at the terminal and that vehicles are being discharged as at when due.
Keshinro stated that, "there is no challenge, vehicles are being transferred to various destinations either inside the terminal or to Mile 2, vehicles are regularly transferred, they don't have any delay. As at yesterday, we delivered over 600 vehicles"
"We do not have any issues with NIMASA in the real sense of it, the barges are moving and transferring vehicles and you can confirm this".