Shipping lines also secure court order against Shippers’ Council

Members of the Association of Shipping Line Agencies (ASLA) on Friday secured a court injunction restraining the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) from acting upon a notice it published on Wednesday last week slashing the shipping lines’ agency charges, among others.
Members of the association include Alraine Shipping Agencies, Cross Marine Services, CMA CGM Delmas, Comet Shipping Services, Grimaldi Agency and Gulf Agency.
The others are Hull Blyth Nigeria Limited, Lagos and Niger Shipping Agencies, Maersk Nigeria Limited, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Mitsui OSK Lines, PIL Nigeria Limited and Sharaf Shipping Agency.
The suit number FHC/L/CS/1646/2014 was filed on behalf of ALSA and its members by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Chidi Ilogu.
Justice Ibrahim Buba who granted the order, had earlier granted a similar order in favour of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN); restraining the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) from implementing a notice reversing storage charges at the nation’s seaports.
Ruling on an ex-parte motion brought before him on behalf of the terminal operatos by their counsels Mr. Femi Atoyebi (SAN) and Mrs Funke Agbor, Justice Buba granted an injunction restraining the NSC and/or its agents from implementing the reversal order pending determination of the substantive suit.
He adjourned the matter to Monday 10th November 2014 for further hearing.
It would be recalled that the NSC on Wednesday last week published an advertisement announcing the reversal of storage charges at the ports to that which was in force as at May 1, 2009.
NSC also ordered an increase in the free storage period at the port from three days to seven days.
The Council equally directed shipping companies to reduce their shipping line agency charges from N26,500 to N23,850 per TEU and from N48,000 to N40,000 per FEU.  It also directed shipping agencies to refund container deposits to importers and agents within 10 working days after the return of the empty containers.