LCCI wants review of import guidelines on palletized cargo
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has chided the Federal Government over its revised import guidelines on containerized cargo stating that the initiative may be counter-productive to its ease of doing business agenda.
Pallets are plane/flat structures utilised in cargo container ships for supporting goods or containers. Cargo consignments are piled atop these structures, the process being referred to as palletizing.
According to the Director-General of the chamber, Muda Yusuf, some aspects of the revised import guidelines dated 11th April 2017, issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance portend weighty unintended adverse consequences for business which are obviously not in tune with the current disposition of government on ease of doing business, adding that economics of investment of some business will be completely upturned if the guidelines are implemented in its current form.
“The worrisome aspect of the circular is the section that stipulates as follows: “Shipping Lines shall ensure that Nigeria bound containerized cargo are palletized. Shipping Lines and other carriers that failed to adhere strictly to palletized cargo shall be asked to take back on board the non-palletized cargo”.
“The LCCI appreciates the good intentions of government in coming up with this policy. But the reality is that not all containerized cargo is amenable to palletization. Some of these include tyres, chemicals in drums, plastic raw materials in bags, powdered milk and similar products which are imported in bags.
“Palletization of these products will be clumsy, aggravate the cost of freights, cause gross underutilization of container space, creates risk of damage to cargo, among other unintentionalnegative consequences. This aspect of the guidelines is at variance with the renewed commitment of government to enhancing the ease of doing business”, he added.
Yusuf then urged the government to urgently review the revised import guidelines in a bid to exempt the category of imports outlined above, while adding that the implementation of the palletization component of the guidelines be suspended, pending when the request of the stakeholders is being considered.