The Nigerian Shippers’ Council on Friday directed shipping companies to suspend demurrage from March 30, 2020.
According to the management of the NSC, the directive applies strictly to cargoes discharged at the terminals from March 30,.
The council reportedly 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 said, “Demurrage during this period should be refunded to the consignee or his authorised 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 is not an excuse to delay or abandon cargo at the ports. Errant shippers will be sanctioned, in addition to having to pay the demurrage due on their cargoes.”
NSC, in its update on ensuring compliance with the presidential directive that ports, as essential service providers, should be operational, said it had continued monitoring activities at the seaports to ensure efficiency within the present situation.
It added that the monitoring of operations in the port was to ensure compliance in line with the existing health and safety guidelines for the prevention and containment of the spread of COVID-19.