shipping charges

Bello: Cargo Tracking Note Will End Alterations in Cargo Manifests, Boost Revenue from Ports

As the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) gets set to sign a landmark agreement with shipping companies to reduce charges by 35 per cent, the ports economic regulator says the planned reintroduction of Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) will address security issues , malpractices in tonnage and goods declarations in Nigerian ports. The Executive Secretary of the Council;, Mr Hassan Bello, in this interview with SHIPPING DAY says CTN apart from being a strong security measure for the country and veritable source of data will equally boost revenue collections by the Customs Service, NIMASA and NPA as there will be no more alterations of the manifest and weight of ships. Bello among others, also speaks on the dry ports projects in some states as well as the outcome of the meeting organised by the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) in London where issues of arbitrary surcharges against shippers in Nigeria and other African countries were discussed. Excerpts

African shippers under the Union of African Shippers Council (UASC) attended the meeting of Global Shippers Forum (GSF) in London recently where the issue of shipping surcharges by ship owners against African shippers were discussed, can you give us an insight on what happened?
Yes. We had a fruitful meeting. We had Assian Shippers, Shippers Council from Italy, European Shippers Council and the British Shippers Council who were part of the meeting. We also had the International Chamber of Commerce, ship owners and many others..
Now, the idea is cost. Cost is very important in shipping as you know and to our national economy. We want a reasonable cost. We want effective cost and we want fair cost. What we seem to have is global understanding as shippers that some of these charges, especially the surcharges are not as transparent as we want them to be. But even more fundamental is that these charges are done arbitrarily – without consultations with the owners of the cargo. We think that when you go to the restaurant, at least you will see the cost and you will be given a receipt and then you will know what you have consumed and what you have not. So, we are looking at participatory level whereby shippers will participate in deciding the cost of shipping and that is fundamental. So, a lot of things came up and we think that shippers should directly deal with the carriers instead of the agents so that we have a framework for setting up these charges. And we suspect that because freight has been very stable and low until recently because of competition, there is tendency for carriers to make up charges elsewhere apart from their freight. So the position of our total team, we were with Ghana and others is to have more transparency by shipping lines. We want participation in decision making.
On the surcharges, the information we had was that the ship owners disowned some of the charges, saying they were imposed by the agents?
I want to confirm that. The surcharges are abnormal things. If such things disappear, the surcharge should also disappear. If you have congestion surcharge, maybe it is justifiable, but when there is no congestion, why should surcharge remain?. When we have bunker adjustment surcharge, that means the fuel is high, but what of when the fuel price comes low what happens?. Look at what we have been saying about war risk – making Nigerian cargo the most expensive may be in the world. $1,500 for 20ft container to bring it to Lagos. $3,000 if it is going to the Eastern port. We have to know what are the risks, you cannot unilaterally, arbitrarily decide these surcharges. So, there is no transparency – and it is against all European anti- trust laws. I know that the anti- trust laws have been a little bit lenient to shipping for some obvious reasons, but we ought to know. The Global Shippers Forum (GSF) is engaged now with Lyods to find out what is happening to this war risks. Then, one of the most important thing is that GSF has asked Nigeria to host its next meeting probably in March or April next year. This is an opportunity for Nigeria to come and make its stand, because it will be effective. There is a legislation Sri-Lanka did. Sri – Lankans were there. The idea is to minimize some charges that are already freight inclusive – because we believe by paying freight, some of these charges have already been dealt with. Freight is part of that. You have in-coterns which says liner in liner out for example which means evacuation of the cargo from the ship to the terminals where the shipper collects. You don’t have to pay that. Or loading of cargo from destination. The shipper has already taken that in the freight..
Then the issue of delay of cargo – we have to look at it because delay could be dangerous. All these things, the responsibility of the terminal operations must be taken into consideration. What is the responsibility of the freight forwarder, what is the responsibility of the shipping lines and so forth. We have all to go to class now and determine them according to international practice. We have no fear of paying charges but let it be related to services. Let me give you an example during our negotiation with shipping companies. Container cleaning charge is that all the containers that come here have to be cleaned. Is that possible?. We said no, you have to convince us that these containers will have to be cleaned. So, that is what me are doing now. We have removed container cleaning charges in our negotiation, unless you prove that it is dirty. Then we have inserted a clause that says if through no fault of a shipper, he cannot return the container, then he should not be charged demurrage. What people don’t know is that the Central Bank has given us responsibility now to look at demurrages. We are looking at not only of freight charges but also reasonableness of demurrages.
We have to thank the CBN for doing that. They know we are experts in shipping business and they have leased some of their regulatory functions.
We have saved a lot of money. We are going to give the report very soon.

Why is that coming from CBN?

CBN is the one that controls foreign exchange.
One thing I will say is that we have to commend the shipping companies because of their understanding and their commitment to finding solution to arbitrary and unilateral fixing of costs. They have been here, we have been meeting one and half years. The deal we are going to sign, may be we could do better – but let us start. It has opened a vista of dispute mechanism settlement and for effective cost. We have reduced the charges from the nomenclature, from 16 to 5, so that we don’t have all these charges. We have reduced some of these charges – the headings.
But one of the problems which I have highlighted to the Ministry of Transportation is the agencies of government we are going to face next. Neither the NPA or NIMASA or Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) will charge any kobo without coming to the Nigerian Shippers Council and I am happy the Minister is agreeing with what we are saying. So NPA, if you want to make charges, come and negotiate with us because a charge from NPA could wipe out all the gains we have made. So, I am happy, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority….. we had a problem, because one of the terminals raised some charges and we wrote to them that they have no right to impose such charges, and then we met – and through that we stopped the charge. They (Oil and Gas) are economists; they understand the implication of that quickly. So, if we can have such cooperation from an organization outside the Ministry of Transport, why can’t we have with people inside. For example, NIMASA is charging environmental fees, so also NPA is doing the same. And we can’t have that. That is duplication. This will raise the charges more. We want charges to be tied to services. We are getting a lot of support from the Ministry of Transportation. We are also getting now to understand ourselves, each other or one another with NIMASA. For example we are doing a lot of things with NIMASA. We think that coming together with NIMASA is very important as far as these charges are concerned.
Gradually, what we are trying to do is to make sure that there is not only ease of doing business but also that the cost is reasonable.
Nigerian ports are very expensive and that is disservice to shipping, disincentive to shipping. That is why people may take their cargo elsewhere as an economic decision.
There was a suggestion that you apply the Sri – Lankan example in Nigeria ports. How possible is that in Nigeria?
Yes. It is. What we are saying is that legislation will cure this kind of things. We met with the Sri – Lankan authorities in London. You know Shipper Council engages stakeholders. We cannot do anything without the stakeholders. Even this MOU, we have just got a draft now. So, am going to meet with the shippers, freight forwarders, MAN, NACCIMA, all the trade groups, and say this is what I have been able to extract. Am going to also plead with their patience so that this is just the beginning. For how many years we never had such kind of thing. It is not something we go all way and say we have done that, but gradually. The most important thing is that there is now a basis for negotiation. And when we are going to negotiate, we have to bring the shippers in. It is not only NSC. For example, when we went to Global Shippers Forum (GSF) we carried shippers with us. There was Cadbury, I think and they are with the Lagos Chamber of commerce and industry (LCCI) , because they are the ones we know. We are just the institution. But we have to make sure that shippers are involved.
Sir, we thought the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) was forgotten, can you throw more light on the stage if is now?.
The international Cargo Tracking Note is another instrument that will add tremendously in shipping development. It will boost the revenue of the government in customs revenue collection in the sense that it will abate under – declaration and concealment. It will boost the revenue of NPA because there will be no more alteration of the manifest. It will boost the revenue of NIMASA because under – declaration on the weight of ships will not be there any longer. But most important is that the beauty of it is that CTN is a veritable source of data. You will know everything that is coming into your country. We have had many African countries having this because it is the initiation of Union of African Shippers Council (UASC), Cameroun, Niger that is even land – locked and many other countries have Cargo Tracking Note. So, you got to k now what is coming to your country. It is a security document because, if you knew, there will not be proliferation of firearms. We have discussed with the Comptroller – General of Custom when he came here and we have been talking with him, and he is on it.
There are technical hitches because we ran into problem with the agent that was supposed to do that. But now we – NSC, NPA, NIMASA and Customs Service, are coming jointly with Shippers Council in the lead to make sure this thing is done. I hope by the time we have the final report on it, we should be able to start the CTN. To check expenses, because of the volume, what we proposed was very very low. It is the lowest in the whole world. Because our own is not actually the direct revenue but what it will do to the economy and the security, and of course data that we will collect.
Any development on the dry port project?
Yes, we have up till December to bring on board Funtua and Jos. Then, the federal government will now finance the connection of rail into the dry ports. In fact, estimates have already been given to the Nigerian Railway Corporation to ensure that this is done. When we do that, by December, January we commission the two. But others, we are still having problems. You know this has been concessioned to the private sector and so we are looking at new business outline cases they are submitting. We are giving them time to do that, and we threaten to cancel the concession if they are not able to do so.
At a point you were sourcing some investors for them to make the project faster. What is the situation?
We did, in fact, some are dealing with Chinese companies. Like Jos, some with the Canadian investors at Isiala Ngwa.
They are working at it – always having meetings. Two days ago, we had meetings with Funtua and Jos – and we gave them the timeline for us to work so we see things are done. Am worried about the capacity of the railway. Nigerian Railway Corporation now takes containers from Lagos to Kaduna where they are examined. Of course, because it is a narrow guage, we are worried about the speed which is 60KPH – that is the average. Am also worried about derailment. We need frequency and certainty – so that we can schedule that in every two days, it will take about 40 containers. They are overwhelmed in Kaduna. Many shippers have come, companies like Nokako in Kaduna, Orland Farms. They want to use Kaduna, but the capacity of the rail. But now, we have upped the number of containers. Nigerian Railway has been very committed and the containers are taken there, they are examined there. The Customs Service has upgraded their Command ….Central Bank has recognized Kaduna in electronic Form M – Kaduna as a port. Many banks are moving because of the transaction. NDLEA, SON, SSS, Police are in Kaduna. Export has grown in Kaduna. Cow horn, ginger, habiscus are being exported through Kaduna. So what Shippers Council is trying to do is to acquire the land adjacent Kaduna dry port so that we have it for processing. We don’t want these raw materials to be exported. We want ginger to be processed and packaged so that there will be value addition. This will mean employment for people. We want Zobo to be processed and packaged. We have been working with the Ministry of Finance to have a pre – inspection agency so that what we do, immediately this is done, the ship is waiting because of schedules and train will take these things. So more exports will be done. Kaduna will be a success story. Especially with rail coming on. And then we are looking at Kano which unfortunately has not been able to do anything. But we are into it. The moment we do that we will decongest the seaports and we bring shipping closer to the people and we grow the economies where these dry ports are sited.
Am happy with what is happening in Kaduna, am happy with the regulators, CBN, Nigeria Customs and many others who recognized Kaduna and they are doing business there.
There is this worry that an operator expressed recently that the volume of cargo from Lagos to Kaduna in about 20 per week. How do you react to this?
It is low because of the capacity of the rail. But he has forgotten that trucks also come with the containers.
What we want is that with rail, we can tract the containers – so that there will not be any diversion – so that Customs will not lose that revenue. That is very important. But in two weeks time, the Niger people are coming to inspect Kaduna – which is significant. We had meetings with Niger three weeks ago. They want their cargo to come, but they are looking at Kaduna. Already the Kaduna State government has led a trade delegation to Niger – so that they will consolidate that. Whatever happens to Kaduna, we should not forget, has the support of the Kaduna state government which has been solidly behind the Kaduna dry port. They provided so many things, the roads. They have done the in and out of the roads, they have provided security, light, water and any other infrastructure. So, what we are trying now to do is to make Kaduna security compliant, ISPS Code. It is very important, that is what is remaining. Then, the FIATA recognizing them which we are doing with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding (CRFFN) – And like I said Shippers Council wants to acquire the land so that we have factories at the port processing and packaging. We are acquiring more land with NRC. But we also have another land in Kaduna which has more space than the one near the dry port.This we are doing with Commonwealth Investment and Enterprise Council and the NEXIM Bank. They are going to give the support and Kaduna will be a full port. This we hope to do in Jos where we have two applications for industries to be located near the Jos dry port. We have Smelters there, we are already talking with them to see what could be done. But this whole idea is that we could reach Europe from Jos more than South Africa. It is about five hours to Europe, Germany, Britain and so on. We have that dream to do that.
We understand that there are proposals for building of dry ports in Delta State, can you comment on this sir?
Delta is just like every other state where we are bombed with proposals. I have met with the Economic Adviser of Delta State who is very very vast in economics and we have discussed. We also have proposal from Prof Pat Utomi and many entrepreneurs. We are considering them – because we encourage them to submit the outline case if they have proposals so we check the viability. We can’t be building dry ports if they are not going to be viable. We don’t want any white elephant project. Many state governments have come to say they want to have freight station, they want to have dry ports but we look at them and say, no, you can’t, either because it is proximate and already existing dry port or there will not be enough throughput to support such dry port. So, we are looking at the Delta issue. Staff of Shippers Council were in Delta just two weeks ago and had a meeting. We are looking at which is the most viable of them.

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Shippers Council Moves to Bring NPA, NIMASA Under Economic Regulation

*Wants negotiation before new charges are introduced
*Identifies duplication of charges by NPA, NIMASA on environmental fees
By Fransic Ugwoke
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) is currently moving strongly to ensure that government agencies under the Ministry of Transportation are put under economic regulation so that they do not introduce any charges without first seeking negotiation with the Council.
The Council is worried that this has been the trend with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and has taken up the matter with the Ministry of Transport and the concerned agencies for them to come under regulation.
Speaking on the issue weekend, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello said that having succeeded in getting the shipping companies to reduce charges, it will now focus attention with the government agencies to come to the Council for negotiation of their new charges before they are introduced.
Bello explained that it was important for the NPA and other agencies to come to the negotiation table before introducing new charges because according to him a charge from NPA could wipe out the gains of the agreement it is planning to sign soon with the shipping companies to reduce charges by 35 percent .
The Council estimates that 35 percent reduction in charges by shipping companies will lead to savings of about N480billion annually with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Bello said it was better to discuss charges before they are introduced because of the consequences on the shippers and the economy.
He said “We want NPA to come and negotiate with the Council if it wants to introduce new charges because a charge from NPA could wipe out all gains we have made”.
Bello referred to the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority which had introduced a charge and had to come for negotiation with the Council when it was reminded to do so.
“So, if we can have such cooperation from an organization outside the Ministry of Transport, why can’t we have with people inside”, he said.
Bello pointed out the issue of environmental fees being charged by both NPA and NIMASA, adding that this was a clear duplication of charges that will impact negatively on shippers.
“NIMASA is charging environmental fees, so also NPA is doing the same, and we can’t have that. That is duplication. This will raise the charges more on shippers. We want charges to be tied to services”, he said.
Bello said his Council is getting a lot of support from the Ministry of Transportation to ensure that what is wrong could be corrected.
He also added, “we are also getting now to understand ourselves, each other or one another with NIMASA. For example, we are doing a lot of things with NIMASA. We think that coming together with NIMASA is very important as far as these charges are concerned”.
Bello had said that the implementation will begin once the MOU with shipping companies as agreed by the Ministry of Transportation comes into effect.

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Union of Shippers Adopts Measures to Tackle Shipowners, Others on Surcharges

Members of the Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) have adopted stern measures to fight against surcharges imposed on shippers by foreign shipowners and their agents.
Rising from a meeting attended by 16 countries in the West and Central African states in Abuja, participants said African countries cannot afford to fold their hands while foreign shipowners and their agents continue to rip-off shippers through arbitrary charges.
The Union therefore reached a consensus among members to take the matter up with foreign shipowners who will be attending a meeting of Global Shippers Forum (GSF) coming up soon in London.
Participants at the meeting had welcomed suggestions by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, on how best to check the excesses of the shipowners and their agents.
Bello who was the Chairman of the Standing Committee 1 on Trade and Transport while speaking on the arbitrary increase in charges and introduction of new nomenclatures by shipping lines said member states should insist that shippers must be consulted before new charges are imposed on them.
Bello also said shippers must take time to study and ask questions on the component of the charges being presented to them and agree on their justification before payment is made.
He enjoined shippers councils in the sub-region to resort to legislation if the foreign ship owners continue to impose such charges without negotiation.
He explained that being part of the decision making before new charges are introduced was the best for all as the shipowners will be in a position to explain the reason for such charges.
“Shippers must be part of the decision making on charges. Sometimes, if you are part of the decision making, it will even help the operators. There are things you may see and sympathise with them and agree”.
“We can do a lot of things through legislation. If the European shipowers remain on their feet that we cannot be part of the negotiation, we use legislation. But there is no law that can say we cannot talk to them”.
Bello called on the Councils to consider the negative effect of the surcharges on their individual national economies and fight against the arbitrary charges.
“If we cannot negotiate charges, if we cannot reduce charges, if we cannot fight arbitrary charges not only on behalf of shippers but for our national economies, then we should be dissolved. These charges are affecting our national economies. It affects inflation because all the charges are passed to me and you as the final consumers. It means that the standard of living will reduce drastically because of the issue of affordability. If there is monopoly then we don’t have choice. So we are doing this not only for the shippers but also for the providers. I want shippers councils to be total, to look at the whole economy. We should work towards having the law so that we can do what we ought to do”.
He called on the secretary general of UASC to examine the suggestion by Ghana, Cameroon and supported by others for the constitution of experts to look at unfair trade practices in individual countries for presentation during the GSF meeting in London.
He also called on the Union to reach out to similar oganisations in Latin America, Asia to learn from them what they have been able to do on issues of illegal charges.
Bello also said that with the economic powers that shippers councils have with cargos, there was the need to seek more political power.
He explained “We have to have economic and political power on the freight charges. The economic power we have already gotten, that means we have the cargo. For strong political will, we should have affiliations with international bodies. We should have observers status at IMO”
He pointed out that it was important to remind the various governments in the sub-region of their responsibilities on provision of infrastructures as this will impact positively on trade facilitation.
He explained that the Councils were not out to deny shipowners or their agents of profits, but want regulations to be obeyed.
“We are not denying you profitability or anything. You should make profit. You should benefit, in fact you are employing people, you are creating wealth in our country, but there is limit. We have ethics. It is mutual respect”, he spoke of shipping service providers.
Bello recalled that in Nigeria shipping service providers, including terminal operators and shipping lines had dragged the Nigerian Shippers Council to court on shipping charges it had challenged and dropped.
According to him, “We were taken to court. We won in the High court and in the Appeal Court but the service providers went to the Supreme Court where the case is now. They are telling us that we cannot determine what they charge and we said no, you cannot come to our country and say this is what you are going to charge. It does not make sense. So, shippers councils must be bold”.

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Ports: Exploring Strategic Collaboration for Regulatory Effect

By Eugene Nweke

By professional inclinations and involvement in the international trade and security supply chain, the Freight Forwarder expertise confers and earns the Forwarders, the Industry status as the “Go in between” the shipper and other critical stakeholders within the international trade and safety supply chain.
The Freight Forwarder by training is duly equipped to interface with several trade concerns on behalf of his principal, and as such can best be appreciated as a core strict Information manager. He/She is a source and custodian of primary and secondary trade datas. Equally, a Forwarder stands in as the sources of revenue generations to different actors in the port/shipping Industry value adding supplychain.
The Freight Forwarder is critical in determining the regulatory policies effectiveness and competitiveness, especially in the port industry.
Professional Training of the Freight Forwarders will drive a sound, firm regulatory regime, which in turn promotes professional ethics, code of conducts and thereby upholding and preserving the integrity of the profession in line with international best practices, boost industry sanity.
However, in a corrupt port environment, the Freight Forwarder if left unregulated, could also become a veritable tool, retarding both professional and industry advancement and general economic growth. The Forwarder has the professional capacity to explore further a given corrupt port system, by deploying his knowledge and skills acquisitions in the negative, hence, the prevalence regulatory and operational compromises, connivance and abuses, which heightens malpractices, breeding cartelship, arbitrariness and non compliance to trade laws.
Permit to buttress this position, by citing the regulatory quests of the Austria Competition Authority, Austria Freight Forwarding Group , State Rail Firm, Central Freight Forwarders Association and the Viennese Court, as a case study:

In Austria, the Austrian Competition Authority ( Bundeswett – Bewerbsbehorde – BWB) observed a gathering of black sheeps ( a cartel) called the Austrain Forwarder’s groupage conference, this sets of Forwarders in connivance with a core State privatised Service Provider are involved into price fixing arrangements for transport services within the States.
The Authority under took an extensive investigation on this group’s price fixing activities from 2002 onwards to 2010, when it filed a case in the Viennese Antitrust Court, for the imposition of fines on the members of the group, for agreeing to act in a manner which sought to minimize competition in the Sector.
The Authority in a 36,000 pages of documents accused the Forwarders of not only coordinating prices but also of dividing up groupage customers according to regions, in order not to interfere with each other’s interests. The Authority (BWB) established that the cartel agreed to coordinate diesel fuel surcharges, dangerous goods surcharges, fees for bulky goods, HGV tools surcharges and pallet fees, and levied all this extra amounts on the Shippers.
The legal fireworks ensued, in the year 2011, the Austrian Antitrust Court rejected the request of the Competition Authority to impose fines. The Court ruled that minor cartel was permissible in Austrain laws.
The Competition Authority (BWB), knowing the implications of losing its relevance in the industry, stuck to its gun, it proceeded a step further and submitted the matter to the European Court of Justice, which took up the case and ruled in 2013 that, the cartel was in breach of the EU Competition rules. As a result the Austrian Antitrust Court reopened the case, requested the Authority to produce a principal witness.
It is at this point, that the Authority knowing that it must prove its case logically, deems it necessary and resorts to obtain the buy in of a reputable professional (insiders collaborations) in other to win its case and established itself as a functional, active and respected Authority.
In this particular case, the Authority main target is the Freight division of the Austria’s State railway enterprise ( Osterreichische Bundesbahnen – OBB), which played a particular prominent roles in the cartel, its subsidiary, Rail Cargo Logistics was deeply involved too.
After an in house discussion, DB Schenker, an Austrian firm testifed as a principal witness., He attested thus:
“That, the axis for the agreements has been the Country’s Central Forwarding and Logistics Association ( Zentralverband Spedition & Logistik), a private Association representating the interests of Austrian Forwarders.
The arrangement were agreed in a body known as the Forwarders groupage conference ( Spedition Sammelladungskonferenz – SSK), on the basis of which Forwarders conducted their Austrian groupage activities”.
In 2014, the Court passed judgement in favor of the Authority, and the Authority, as was agreed, penalized the 30 Freight Forwarder firms involvied, including DB Schenker, with fines ranging from EUR2500, OBB was fined EUR7million and Rail Cargo Logistics (subsidiary of OBB) was fined EUR 1.3million. Total fines recovered for the Treasury (with an undertaking never to engage in such act) was EUR17million.
By 19th of December, 2014, the Authority published the court ruling, the outcome of its enforcement, and giving breakdown of recoveries made, the rest is now a success story for regulatory effectiveness in Austria Forwarding Industry.
Notable among the Freight Forwarding firms involvied are : DHL, Express Austria, Logwin Road & Rail, Kuehne + Nagel, Wildenhofer, ABX Logistics, Englmayer, Lagermax and Schneckenreither, etc.
HOME FRONT SCENE :
To date, in the Nigeria Port System several unwholesome practices, cartels, price fixing or arbitrariness, etc, persist.
The Nigeria Shippers Council saddled with the obligation of protecting the interests of the Shippers, had over the years, even before its elevation status as the port economic regulator, partnered with both Freight Forwarding Associations and other concerned bodies to achieve a firm regulatory regime that will usher a competitive and business friendly port industry, but still suffers sets back, with regards to this quests.
Like the Austrian Competition Authority, the Council painstakingly collaborated the supports of the Trading and Freight Forwarders Associations, went through legal fireworks, and eventually secure a Court judgement against the Shipping Lines and the Terminal Operators over acts of arbitrary price fixing.
Almost three years down the line, the NSC is yet to publish the outcome of its enforcement and recoveries thereof to the public.

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE CASE STUDY:
In the matter of inadequate professional regulation of the Freight Forwarders in an untrained and non economic regulatory authority in the industry, the case study under reference shows that the Freight Forwarding, Shipping Lines, Terminal Operators, Haulage Associations, Firms, etc, may actually lacks the professional capacity and administrative will to effectively regulate their members on matters of professional, arbitrary price fixing and connivance thereof, at times most of the Freight Forwarding Associations and Firms are actually culpable and are party promoting such trends.
AN ADVICE FOR THE NSC:
The Nigeria Shippers Council has a duty to sustain its relationship with the Association, but has to collaborate with the Council For The Regulation Of Freight Forwarding Practices In Nigeria – CRFFN, in its current bids to evolve a regime of professionally trained, regulatable ( sanctionable) Freight Forwarding Practices In Nigeria. A Freight Forwarding regulatory Council has all it takes to compel the professionals to make their clients comply with trade laws, once there is a level playing field and uniformity of practice. No professional likes living all his or her life giving bribes.
The Council stands to attain a milestone in its economic regulatory functions in the port industry, first it has to review its present approach to collaborations. Collaborations are meant to achieve strategic results in the long run. Again, the need to show enforcement capacity is key. Getting the Forwarders properly regulated is the core step to engendering an effective regulatory regime in the port industry.
* Dr Nweke was former President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).

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Shippers Council Hosts Summit to Address High Shipping Charges by International Ship Owners, Agents

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) will next week host a three-day sub-regional summit to strategize on a common position against high shipping surcharges and charges being imposed on shippers by liner conferences from different continents.
The programme will be under the auspices of the Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC).

The programme include Sub-Regional Workshop on Status of Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) in UASC Member States and a Joint Standing Committee Meeting of UASC on Monday 26th – Wednesday 28th August, 2019 at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
In a statement from the Council, the events are a collaborative effort involving the Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF).
The forums are aimed at achieving the following objectives:
• To provide an avenue for the UASC Member Countries to strategise and articulate common positions on how to checkmate the multinational shipping service providers/carriers with a view to adopting a collective position for presentation at the Annual General Meeting of the Global Shippers’ Forum scheduled for September in London.
• To create more awareness and provide insights to the relevance of the FAL Convention to member Countries for domestication and effective implementation
Expected participants include UASC Member States, relevant Government Agencies, Ministries, Multi-lateral and Sub-regional organisations in the trade and transport sectors, Public and Private Sector Stakeholders in infrastructure development, ancillary services as well as donor agencies.

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