COVID-19: NPA clears the air on demurrage at seaports
*Says 21 days waiver stands
By Udeme Clement :
Following the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the whole world and slowing down economic activities, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has cleared the Air about fears expressed by freight forwarders on accumulated demurrage on cargoes.
The Authority emphasised that 21 days waiver on demurrage for cargoes at seaports earlier pronounced still stands.
Setting the record straight, the General Manager, Public Relations and Strategic Communications, NPA, Mr. Adams Jatto, said the Authority is highly committed to the development of port Industry in Nigeria.
In that capacity, the decision on waiver for demurrage was taken to alleviate the suffering of freight forwarders and importers brought about by the pandemic.
He explained that the waiver is not free of charge, as NPA will bear the cost at the end of it.
He clarified, “Any cargo, which had already been in after the tentative date in the seaport, and had attracted demurrage will equally attract waiver.
“Therefore, after calculating demurrage on cargo, the 21 days waiver will be removed from the cost, so NPA will bear the cost of that waiver.”
He pointed out, “There is no confusion at all. NPA gave a tentative date for 21 days directive on the waiver. A follow-up to that was the Managing Director’s visit to the port, in particular on the directive she brought up before terminal operators and no objection was raised about it.”
He added, “The terminal operators even confirmed receiving the letter sent to them concerning that”.
More so, the Authority on March 27, 2020, suspended all applicable terminal storage fees on cargoes for 21 days, effective from March 23, 2020. The decision was taken by NPA as the regulatory Authority, and in line with the Executive Order of the Federal Government on Ease of doing business in the ports.