NPA clears air on 21-day waiver directive on demurrage

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Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on Thursday, reiterated its stand to waive off 21-day demurrage from cargoes at port.

NPA Spokesman, Adams Jatto, a General Manager, said in Lagos that the decision was taken in view of challenges brought about by COVID-19.

According to him, there should not be any form of ambiguity as regards the waiver as the measure is done to alleviate the suffering of importers during the COVID-19 period.

He said that any cargo that had been in after the tentative date in the port and had attracted a demurrage would attract a waiver.

Jatto, however, pointed out that the waiver was not free of charge, as NPA would bear the cost of the waiver.

He further noted that after calculating the demurrage on a cargo, the 21-day waiver would be removed from the cost and NPA will then bear the cost of that waiver.

On March 27, NPA suspended all applicable terminal storage fees on consignments (demurrage) from an initial period of twenty-one days effective March 23.

The gesture is in recognition of the pressure that the COVID-19 pandemic imposes on businesses.

It was also part of the responsibility imposed on the authority to relief this burden on its customers as well as attaining the objective of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business Policy.

Recently, there was widespread confusion at the nation’s seaports over this directive, as clearing agents accused terminal operators and shipping companies of flouting the directive.

“There is no form of confusion at all, because NPA gave a tentative date for the 21-day directive.

“ A follow up to this, is the managing director’s visit to the port and in particular about the directive which she brought up before the terminal operators and no objection was raised.

“The terminal operators even confirmed receiving the letter sent to them in that regard,” Jato said.

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