Lagos – The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Thursday said that shippers would benefit a lot from available information on ship movement from Cargo Tracking Note (CTN).
Mrs Dabney Shall-Holma, the Director, Commercial Shipping Service of NSC, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The director recalled that from discussions with shipping companies held in 1998 at Gabon, Libreville, and in Brussels, it was agreed that CTN would be at no cost to shippers in West and Central Africa.
Implementation of the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) on all imports into the country started on Nov. 2 at the nation’s ports.
NAN reports that with the CTN, cargoes in transit can be tracked from port of loading to port of discharge in terms of risk profiling of vessels, crew members, ports of calls, mid-stream operations and cargo characteristics.
It is expected that the CTN will check fraudulent declarations by importers and even ship owners on arrival at the ports.
Nigeria introduced CTN in 2009 under the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), but had to suspend its implementation because of the controversy trailing the cost to shippers.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“The intendment of the project is to ensure transparency in the process and to bring the principals (shipping companies) back to the negotiating tables.
“If other countries are benefiting from it (CTN) and they are not being charged, why should our own case, where we have 75 per cent of the cargo traffic in the sub-region, be different?
“The Nigerian shippers, the mass media and the regulatory agencies, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council should not rest on their oars until this is addressed decisively,’’ Shall-Holma said.
According to her, shipping companies and their principals would be called to order and government would give instruction to that effect.
Shall-Holma said the intendment of the CTN, right from its establishment in 1998 in Libreville, Gabon, is to get the major components that make up freight as well as surcharges to the West and Central African sub-region.
She noted the huge outflow from West and Central Africa sub-region on account of freight.
“There are so many surcharges and it was because of the retinue of charges that we have that we said for those of them that are freight tax, payment can be made.
“It has nothing to do with additional cost for the shipper that is exporting and importing at the moment.
“Whether NSC introduces CTN or not, shipping companies will continue to collect freight tax.
“The 25 dollar per container and indeed all other listings are expected to come from already existing freight taxation on Nigerian freight, “ she said.
NAN reports that this arose from controversies surrounding administrative fees on the CTN ranging from 25 dollars per container, 10 dollars per vehicle, 0.2 dollar per unit of break bulk and 0.1 dollar per tonne crude export.
Shall-Holma said that the CTN would also assist in determining the exact payable freight rates.
The director said that there had also been increase in insurance premiums on cargoes to cover so many things, saying that insurance premiums had been going up instead of reducing.
Meanwhile, Mr Remi Ogunmefun, the Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), had said in a statement that the CTN, if re-introduced, would drive up the cost of cargo clearance at the nation’s ports.
This, he said, would have negative trickle-down effects on businesses.
Ogunmefun said: “in the interest of the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian economy, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and by extension the Federal Government should jettison the re-introduction of the CTN.
He said the CTN should be jettisoned “as currently crafted until the issue of where the cost burden of its implementation would rest’’. (NAN)