The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has highlighted the importance of the Status of Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic to the Union of African Shippers Council members.
Speaking at the UASC Sub-regional Sensitisation workshop and Joint Committee Meeting in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, noted that the domestication and implementation of the FAL Convention in the member states would prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic.
“It aids cooperation between governments, secures the highest practicable degree of uniformity in formalities and other procedures and has reduced the number of declarations required by public authorities.
“The sub-region must not lag behind in making our ports user-friendly and attractive to international trade.
“Therefore, we need to work assiduously to ensure that necessary measures are put in place to reap the full benefits of the FAL Convention by improving service delivery at our ports.
“More so, concrete actions will greatly minimise delays and reduce the cost of doing business in the region,” Bello said.
Bello, however, explained that for the FAL Convention to be effectively implemented, there was a need for domestic legislation to give effect to the provisions.
He said that it was important to pay close attention to the global sulphur limit in fuel oil regulation, as this could lead to an increase in freight rates with the majority of the cost being passed on to consumers.
“It is estimated that the total impact on consumers’ wallets in 2020 could be around $240bn.
“As a result of varying cost factors, shippers will be forced to make a choice about how to stay competitive.
“As we are all aware, freight rates to the sub-region are relatively high compared to other parts of the world due to low vessel ownership.”
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