Nigerian Shippers’ Council slams Cargo Tracking Note charges on importers

After more than six months of denials, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has finally slammed charges on the controversial cargo tracking note (CTN) it reintroduced early this year.

A letter titled RE: NOTICE TO ALL CARRIERS, SHIP OWNERS, SHIP CHATTERERS, SHIPPING LINES, SHIPPING LINE AGENCIES AND CONSIGNEES, signed by NSC’s Executive Secretary/CEO, Hassan Bello and exclusively obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday, states: “We wish to refer to the above notice and to inform you that the administrative fees for the international cargo tracking note are charged at the following rates:

  1. Empty containers    –  Free
  2. Containers (20ft & 40ft)    –   $25 per container

iii. RoRo + Vehicles  – $10 per Unit

  1. Break Bulk   – $0.2 per Unit
  2. Conventional/Groupage – $1 per Freight ton
  3. Non Crude Oil Export – Free

vii. Crude Oil Export  –  $0.1 per ton.”

The implication of this development is that at the current exchange rate, importers will now pay at least N6,000 additional charges on every container coming into the country, while importers of all types of vehicles will pay additional N2,400 per unit.

Chairman, Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Val Usifoh said the CTN costs will be charged to importers.

Curiously, Hassan Bello had claimed at various fora and meetings with stakeholders that the CTN would not attract any charges.

National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero has flayed the Nigerian Shippers’ Council for deceiving stakeholders on charges associated with the CTN.

“It is wrong because that is what I told Hassan Bello. I told him that he should not introduce the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) if it is not tied to services and if it is going to attract additional cost.

“That is why I have not made any comment for a very long time because legally speaking CTN has no law. It is not backed by any law and if there is no law, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) does not have the right to midwife it and there is no need for CTN for a country that is so expensive with so many costs we have in the country.

“Why are they bringing it at this time when everybody is complaining? There is no cargo, the cost is high, we have multiplicity of charges in the post industry.

“What are you bringing CTN for, what are the benefits? What is the value for CTN to the economy? CTN is not tied to security and not under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) convention on safe framework because if it is then we can say okay it is for security.

“These are the things we are saying, CTN is not tied to services. What are the services of CTN and if CTN is not tied to security; if there are charges on CTN, then it should be rejected,” Mr. Amiwero said yesterday.

National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu recalled that NSC had earlier promised his association that CTN would not attract any charges.

“Having been assured by Nigerian Shippers Council itself that it would not attract a single kobo to Nigerian shippers and based on that condition and the fact that the contract signed by NSC and the operator has a clause saying that once additional money is added to the shipper’s freight or anywhere, this contract remains terminated.

“That is the reason why we are keeping an open mind and watching. We are also following up with our international counterpart to alert us incase anything like that is introduced. Once additional money is added, then we are going to change our position because that is the last decision we made at our last expanded NECOM meeting and with this development (of introduction of charges) once it is confirmed, we are going to call another emergency NECOM meeting, then probably we will change our position. The issue is; we cannot afford to add more to the cost,” Prince Shittu told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has also faulted the introduction of the controversial CTN by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.

MAN Director General, Remi Ogunmefun, said in a statement that the CTN was bound to drive up the cost of cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports and have a negative trickle-down effect on businesses.

According to him, despite weighty reservations expressed by manufacturers at different forum and at a special meeting with the management and Governing Board of NSC and a follow-up technical review session on August 11 and 20, 2015, respectively, NSC was bent on reintroducing the CTN.

“This position was reached based on observed limitations, and other yet to be addressed observed lapses that motivated the call for its cancellation few years ago. The rationale for our dissatisfaction was expressed at the afore-mentioned meetings and formally communicated in writing to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council on September 15, 2015,” Ogunmefun said.