Some container carriers calling at the Port of Lome, Togo and the Port Autonome de Cotonou, Benin Republic have imposed what they called Terminal Handling Charges (THC) on consignees.
The shipping lines THC is different from that which the consignees pay to the operators of the port.
One of the container carriers, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), stated on its website on Thursday that “cost recovery of terminal handling charges essential to maintain service levels”.
It stated: “MSC is compelled to introduce a new charge for all import and export cargo to the port of Lomé, Togo and Cotonou, Benin.
“The charge, which can be paid on a collect, prepaid or elsewhere basis, will be charged to our customers at cost.
“Historically, MSC has absorbed the terminal handling charges at these ports, however, the deterioration in ocean freight levels means this cost must be recovered.”
The additional charges as listed by MSC are USD105 on 20-feet containers and USD155 on 40-feet containers for Lome, while consignees in Benin will pay USD100 and USD145 for 20-feet and 40-feet containers respectively.
“The following charges will be applied to all cargo ‘shipped on board’ on or after 15th August 2016,” the company stated.
French container carrier, CMA CGM, on Thursday said, “As a common practice in the shipping industry worldwide and considering the challenging market environment with significant operational cost in Togo, CMA CGM announced the implementation of a Terminal Handling Charge (THC) in Lome and at Cotonou.
“As from August 15th, 2016, THC will be applicable in addition to the ocean freight for import and export cargo and payable at Cotonou as follows: Dry Containers: EUR 95 per 20′ – EUR 135 per 40′; Reefer Containers: EUR 140 per 20′ – EUR 195 per 40′; Special Containers: EUR 145 per 20′ – EUR 205 per 40′.
“As from August 15th, 2016, THC will be applicable in addition to the ocean freight for import and export cargo and payable at Lome as follows: Dry Containers: EUR 100 per 20′ – EUR 150 per 40′; Reefer Containers: EUR 145 per 20′ – EUR 270 per 40′; Special Containers: EUR 150 per 20′ – EUR 285 per 40′.”
Many Nigerian importers, while trying to avoid government’s fiscal policy and high import duty charges at home, land their cargoes at the Lome and Cotonou ports from where these cargoes are smuggled into Nigeria.
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