Ship Owners Kick Against New Overweight Cargo Charges

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Ship owners have kicked against new charges imposed on overweight cargo introduced by a French shipping firm, CMA CGM.

According to stakeholders in the maritime sector, the  $250 surcharge (N115,175 using the CBN official rate ) that was imposed on cargo destined for Nigeria only is bad and not fair.

It was learnt that the shipping firm had announced the overweight surcharge for cargo coming from Asia and India East Coast to Nigeria with effect from April 28, 2023.

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The firm said. “Nigerian importers would pay ‘an overweight surcharge of $250 per TEU on dry containers with a container gross weight equal to or more than 18 tons from China, South East Asia, North East Asia, and the East Coast of India to Apapa, Tin-Can and Onne ports,” noting that the surcharge would be applicable to short-term contracts of three months and below.

Naija News, however, gathered from The Punch that a ship owner and President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Aminu Umar, who kicked against the new charges queried why the charges were only imposed on Nigerian cargoes while cargoes from other destinations too overloads.

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He called on the federal government and the Nigerian Shippers Council to intervene in the matter.

Umar, said, “Why will they consider a TEU above 18tons as an overweight cargo? TEUs are supposed to be like 24tons which is the manufactured weight. That means they just clearly added that charge on us. So it is really bad I think the Nigerian Shippers Council should intervene there, it is not fair.

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“Why only us? There are other places that are loading more than that and TEUs are supposed to be up to 24 to 25 tons. So I don’t know how come 18 tons become overweight. So I do not think it is allowed and the Nigerian Shippers Council which is the economic regulator is supposed to take it up. And I am sure they are supposed to do that if all the shippers write to them. I am sure they will disapprove the charge.”

 

Another industry player who is a member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nnadi Ugochukwu, said, “It’s normal in shipping that if your consignment is overweight, they will charge a little but I don’t know what the CGM is doing. For instance, their standard weight might be 25 tons and you now bring a consignment of 30 tons, they will charge you something higher above their standard weight.”

 

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