In reaction to the payment of charges on the controversial advanced cargo tracking note recently introduced by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), importers and exporters under the aegis of the Shippers Association of Lagos State have threatened to take legal action against the council if it failed to clarify within seven days who bears the cost of the fees.
The association in a public notice on Wednesday, expressed shock that the controversial cargo tracking note scheme, which was sold by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as being at no cost to importers/exporters, would now attract charges to be borne by shippers.
It said “The Nigerian Shippers Council, time and time and again stated in all meetings with shippers and in various media and fora that cargo tracking note would be at no cost to the Nigerian shippers.
“We hold firmly to that public declaration and on that declaration we stand.
“In a letter dated 02/11/20 15 addressed to the Nigerian Shippers Council, we made it clear that “the proposed ACD/ICTN must not attract any costs (direct or indirect) to the importer or exporter of cargo in Nigeria including their agents and partners (local and abroad).”
The aggravated importers and exporters said shippers in Nigeria have no objection to the introduction of the cargo tracking note, “so long as it does not entail any cost to the Nigerian shippers”.
“The Nigerian Shippers Council may do well to clarify who bears the cost of Cargo Tracking Note administrative fees on import into Nigeria within the next seven days as delay in doing this may compel Shippers Association Lagos State to seek judicial protection in this regard,” the association said.
Stakeholders including importers, freight forwarding associations and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have reportedly protested against the additional cost burden imposed by the implementation of the cargo tracking note by the NSC. They have all variously called on the Federal Government to suspend the scheme until the controversies surrounding its implementation are resolved.
By Patrick Aigbokhan