Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has insisted on its earlier promise that the introduction of Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) on import and export cargoes will not attract any additional cost on importers and exporters, even as it expressed concern over what it described as a campaign of calumny against the scheme.
In a statement issued over the weekend, the ports regulator said that despite the economic and security benefits, people have been spreading false information against the scheme, a development it described as unpatriotic.
Dabney Shall-Holma, director, Commercial Shipping Services of NSC, explained that the charges as published by some manufacturers as additional cost on imports and exports have nothing to do with the shippers but shipping lines.
“It was wrong to say that CTN will attract additional cost to shippers that are importing or exporting goods rather, CTN comes from payments that are already payable per consignment,” she said.
According to her, the published charges was a notice to guide shipping companies and agencies in their preparation of Movement Reference Number(MRN), which is the supposed document to prepare after the Entry Summary Number(ENS) has been filled in by the shipper. “The ENS is completed by the shipper and it is at no cost, which means the shipper will not pay anything”.
CTN, she states, intends to bring out the major components of freight as well as surcharges to the West and Central African sub-region. “This is based on the fact that there is a huge outflow of trade from the region that accounts for freight that is not in the basic freight but in freight additional.”
According to her, whether NSC introduces CTN or not, shipping companies will continue to collect these freight taxations. “There are so many surcharges including freight tax collected by shipping companies and it is from these attendant charges that we want to collect CTN payments from. The $25 per container and all the other fees listed are expected to come from the already existing taxation on Nigerian freight.”
Speaking further, she said that CTN will enable the Council to address wastages in the system and also identify choices available to shippers. “For instance, if a shipper is insisting that a particular surcharge has no relevance to trade, we can get the person to go elsewhere because there will be other shipping companies that will be willing to disregard such surcharge.”
While noting that no shipper has benefitted from bunker adjustment since the cost of oil nose-dived to $47 dollars from $115, she stated that CTN will enable NSC to pass savings to shippers as shipping companies and the providers of shipping services are closing up every opportunity of appreciating what is going into the shipping cost.
Dabney however advised the Organized Private Sector (OPS) not to be lured into taking on a fight that is needless, and will not add value to the nation’s economy. “If this economy thrives, the businesses of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), among others, will also thrive.”