The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has directed shipping companies to suspend demurrage charges during the period of COVID-19 lockdown.
The Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, made the announcement in a statement in Lagos.
According to him, the suspension applies to cargo that is discharged at the terminals from March 30.
“In line with the presidential directive that port operations are essential services, NSC has been monitoring activities to ensure that seaports run efficiently and smoothly within the present circumstances.
“It also ensures that the port runs in compliance with the existing health and safety guidelines for the prevention and containment of the spread of COVID-19.
“During the daily monitoring exercise, it was observed 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, etc.
“Based on the foregoing, NSC has directed shipping companies to suspend demurrage charges during the period of the COVID-19 lockdown which is with effect from March 30.”
The executive secretary added that demurrage charges during this period should be refunded to the consignee or his authorised agent.
Bello pointed out that the suspension of demurrage during this period was an incentive for owners of cargo to accelerate the process of taking delivery of their cargo.