Following protests by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Union of African Shippers’ Council, the European multinational shipping line, MAERSK Line, has instructed its commercial department to stop applying the peak season surcharge from September 1, 2020.
The decision might not be unconnected to the resistance mounted by the NSC condemning the surcharge.
The UASC subsequently backed its Nigerian counterpart and called for the immediate suspension of the peak season surcharge describing it a violation of a previous UASC/European Community Shipowners Association agreement requiring prior, mutual and reasonable notification by individual shipping companies before any imposition of a new tariff, surcharges or increase in transport cost.
A letter signed by Lara Lana, MD of MAERSK Nigeria, and addressed to the ES/CEO of the NSC, stated, “Our principals in our head office have informed us of your letter with subject reference increase in peak season surcharge.
“We would like to thank you for the supporting document you shared shedding light on the meeting between the ECSA and UASC.”
Nigerian importers paid N67bn in 2017 for different surcharges imposed on goods coming into Nigeria.
The surcharges included ‘war surcharge’ imposed on goods coming to Nigerian ports by multinational shipping lines from Europe, America and Asia.
The need to stop the surcharges formed a major discussion at a summit of the UASC in Abuja, hosted by the NSC last year.