Shippers urge NPA, NSC to halt multiple charges at Nigerian ports
Chairman, Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC); Dr Kofi Mbiah, who made this challenge at the Validation Colloquium on United Nations Convention on Contracts for International Carriage of Goods Wholly by Sea (also called Rotterdam Rules) in Abuja, urged the Federal Ministry of Transportation to work with the NSC to address the issue of proliferation of charges in Nigerian ports.
Mbiah, who berated the implications of such charges on Nigeria’s shipping business, said this will trigger inflation in the country as the cost of the charges would be passed to the final consumers through increase in the prices of goods.
He said: “The challenges are more practical in nature in terms of what happens in the ports; there is the need to ensure that there is orderliness in the ports.
“Stakeholders should dialogue with NSC, so that they can agree on rates and charges to ensure that shipping lines and other operators in the ports do not unduly charge importers and exporters.
“Proliferation of charges like terminal handling and container administration, among others, will not make Nigerian ports to be attractive to importers and exporters.
“The charges in Nigeria ports need to be properly defined; people should be made to know them at the beginning of the year and make it predictable for the importers.’’
Giving insight into the new Rotterdam Rules and how to implement and ratify the rules, he said: “As at present, Nigeria is practicing the Hague-Visby Rules and the Hamburg Rules. So, there is a need for a more modern convention, which is the Rotterdam Rules that address the practical relatives of international trade.
“Today, we are using containers more than any other object for shipment and the legal regime that exists presently has not adequately addressed the issue of containers.”According to him, the Rotterdam Rules will address the issue of container revolution.