The Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC) on Friday directed that shipping companies should suspend demurrage charges during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown with effect from 30th March 2020.
The Management of the NSC in a statement, said that the directive applies strictly to cargoes discharged at the terminals from the 30th of March 2020.
According to the NSC, it observed during its daily monitoring exercise that some shippers, through no fault of theirs, were unable to take delivery of their cargo because of lack of public transportation, inadequate banking services and limited service providers due to reduced workforce, and some other factors.
It, therefore, concluded that “demurrage charges during this period should be refunded to the consignee or his authorized agent.
“Suspension of demurrage during this period is an incentive for owners of cargo to accelerate the process of taking delivery of their cargo.
“This suspension of demurrage charges is not an excuse to delay or abandon cargo at the ports. Erring shippers will be sanctioned in addition to having to pay the demurrage due on their cargoes.”
The NSC, in its update on ensuring compliance with the presidential directive that ports, as essential service providers, should be operational, said it has continued monitoring activities at the seaports to ensure efficiency within the present situation.
It said that the monitoring of operations in the port is to ensure that compliance is in line with the existing health and safety guidelines for the prevention and containment of the spread of COVID-19.