End collection of container deposit, Shippers Council tells shipping companies

Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello has said that collection of container deposit (CD) by shipping companies in Nigeria from importers illegal and asked the shipping companies to abolish it.
Bello called for the abolition when he visited some shipping companies in Apapa with his management team, noting that the Council had received series of complaints from shippers over the deposit.
Container Deposit is demanded by shipping companies from importers as a guaranty for the return of their empty containers.
He charged the shipping companies to make the refund within four days after the empty container was returned and should also consider ending the regime of collecting deposits.
According to him, shipping companies opting to end the collection of container deposit could discuss the issue of how to safeguard their empty containers if possible with an agreement that will be binding on the shipper.
Bello also raised the issue of Indemnity being demanded from customs agents by the shipping companies, saying this should be stopped.
He equally asked the shipping companies to consider as a matter of national interest to waive some demurrage caused by the gridlock on the roads leading to the Lagos ports.
According to him, the shipper cannot be compelled to pay for demurrage on his goods at the ports for which he was not the cause.
The other issue raised by the Executive Secretary was the need to make the ship manifest available early enough, within the stipulated time allow before the arrival of the vessel to enable relevant agencies make plans for the reception of the goods.
Bello equally requested that the shipping companies support the Inland Dry Ports (IDP) by facilitating safe transportation of goods to the dry ports with Bill of Lading. Bello said that the NSC as the ports economic regulator is currently working on abolishing payment of container deposit.
He said that the Council will look at the regime of container deposit in line with international practice for the purpose of achieving efficiency.
Bello explained that what the Council was doing was simply to ensure efficiency in ports operation.
He disclosed that the Council will soon sign an agreement with the shipping companies on achieving a sustainable mechanism for resolving disputes in all areas of industry interest.

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