$400 ‘Congestion Surcharge’: Shippers Council may descend on CMA CGM

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Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello

… As ANLCA campaigns for boycott of further patronage ***

Indication within the Nigerian maritime industry shows that the Nigerian Shippers Council  (NSC) will gladly tackle the foreign shipping giant, the CMA CGM over its declared intention to unilaterally impose a $400 surcharge on every cargo landing in either Apapa or Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos.

Already, the Council Boss, Barrister Hassan Bello has declared the proposed surcharge illegal, stressing that the Council was already on top of it.

“There is nothing like that; and even if there is any intention to do that, it is null and void”, Hassan Bello indicated, stressing that until the foreign shipping company clears it with the Council and obtains approval, both the intention and the collection would remain illegal.

“Management is already working on it. It is not unlikely that a meeting will hold before the week runs out, between our management and that of the shipping company”, a senior staffer of the Council stated, on conditions of anonymity, as he was not authorised to disclose the information.

Meanwhile, the Association of Nigerian License Customs Agents  (ANLCA) has called on Nigerians particularly the business class and its members to boycott further patronage of the  shipping company, until it drops the controversial intention.

ANLCA Vice President, Dr. Kayode Collins

“We were shocked to receive the news of an intending surcharge named “Congestion Charges’ to be imposed by CMA CGM shipping Agency”, highlighted ANLCA in a statement issued by its Vice President, Dr. C. Farinto, describing it as an affront on the sensibility of the entire Nigerians.

“It is an affront on the sensibility of the entire Nigerians  to slam this illegitimate charges on all Nigerian bound cargo(es) from 15th of October, 2018. An additional charge of N144,000.00 per container will obviously add to the cost of clearance in our ports.

“It is a breach of contract of affreightement which has been sealed before the cargo was shipped through the Shipping Line”, the body stated further, noting that the proposed congestion charges would be viewed as obtaining money under false pretence which is not only a criminal offence but negates the Federal Government Policy on Ease of Doing Business in Nigerian Ports.

“That we are issuing this Global trade Alert against CMA CGM Shipping Agency, hence we advise all Nigerian Importers and Nigerian in Diaspora not to ship their cargoes through CMA CGM Shipping Agency if they go ahead to implement this draconian policy called Congestion Sur-charge”, the ANLCA leadership concluded.