The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has threatened to deregister service providers and users in the regulated port sector that fail to register with the council.
Issuing the threat on Thursday during stakeholders’ sensitisation in Lagos, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, gave unregistered companies one month to do the needful.
The sentisation was targeted at inland dry ports, seaport terminals and shipping companies.
Bello, who was represented at the event by the Director, Consumer Affairs, NSC, Cajetan Agu, stressed that the Council had been lenient with port service providers and users.
He added that the cost of registration had been reviewed downward to reduce fiscal burden.
“The maiden edition of stakeholders’ sensitisation on the NSC registration took place on January 31, 2019. We made a presentation to industry stakeholders on the need to register with NSC. We discussed the guidelines, requirements and cost,” he said.
Agu explained the rationale behind the review, “During that engagement, we realised the need to review downward the cost of registration to prevent undue increment in the cost of port operations. Surprisingly, two years after, only very few regulated service providers registered with Shippers’ Council.”
According to him, the non-compliance to the NSC registration informed the decision to start fresh sensitisation with IDPs, seaport terminals and shipping lines in the first session.
Agu stated that the NSC registration by port users and service providers was primarily in compliance with the Nigerian laws, which directs the Council to make such registration.
He, however, highlighted other benefits of the registration to include a platform to authenticate and know the port service providers and users, access to regulatory incentives and NSC complaints portal, NSC workshops and seminars.
The registration of port users and service providers, he added, better equips the Council to carry out its regulatory requirements.
Noting that NSC has always been known for persuasive actions, Agu stressed that the Council could mete out sanctions to non-compliant service providers and port users.
“We are giving one month grace period for port operators and port users to register with NSC. Failure to carry out this registration would attract sanctions as contained in NSC regulations. In Section 5 of NSC regulation, there are sanctions like delisting, sealing off, suspension, among others, depending on the degree of offence committed,” he said.
Regulated service providers in the port sector include NPA, terminal operators; shipping companies and agencies, off-dock terminal operators, cargo consolidators and forwarders.
Annual registration fees are as follows: Seaport Terminal Operators – N50,000, Shipping Lines Agencies – N50,000, Inland Container Depots/Dry Port Operators – N25,000, Shipping Agency (Non-Vessel Operating Agency) – N10,000, Cargo Consolidators/ De-consolidators – N10,000, Off-dock / Bonded Terminal Operators – N10,000, Freight Forwarders and Licensed Customs Agents – N5,000.
The online registration process and requirements were demonstrated at the conference, with several virtual participants promising to register.
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