Following the recent actions taken by Port and Terminal Multi Service Limited (PTML) and the Five Star Logistics Company to increase their charges without allegedly getting the approval of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the economic regulator of the port, the agency has threatened to sanction any of the service providers that will increase charges without getting its approval.
Recall that PTML and Five Stars Logistics Company about two weeks ago introduced about 50 percent hike in tariffs, the duo had blamed the rising inflation and cost of doing business in the country as reasons for the increase.
The hike had met condemnation from freight forwarders and stakeholders in the nation’s maritime industry.
However, reacting to the plight of the freight forwarders, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, in a recent warning to the service providers, a copy of which was obtained by Shipping Position Daily, warned that unilateral increase in charges constitute a direct disregard of the NSC as the port economic regulator, while stating that review of charges shall be subjected to guidelines provided by the council.
The Council consequently warned that failure to abide with the directive will lead to punishment of such service providers.
The notice reads: “This legal notice is issued pursuant to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (Local shipping charges on import and export) Regulations, 1997, Nigerian shippers’ council (port Economic) Regulations 2015”.
It added that, “Nigerian Shippers’ Council is aware that some service providers are unilaterally introducing new charges and reviewing existing charges upward without recourse to established Regulations of the Federal Government.
“Unilateral increase in charges/introduction of the new tariff heading and charges constitute a direct disregard of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (Local shipping charges on import and export) Regulations, 1997, and Nigerian Shippers Council (port Economic) Regulations, 2015.
“Consequently, all services providers are by this notice reminded that: Review of charges /introduction of new tariff headings and charges shall be subjected to the guidelines provided by NSC pursuant to “Nigerian Shippers Council (port Economic) Regulations 2015.i.e to submit Intentions to the Nigerian shippers’ council for appropriate action/approval before implementation”
“Consequence to non-compliance with this notice is punishable by regulation 5 sub-regulations (1to7) of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (port Economic) Regulations, 2015.Note that henceforth, Nigerians Shippers’ Council will only deal with regulated service provider on individual basis to enhance service delivery at the ports (Air/seaports.)”, the Council warned.