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Nigeria: Covid-19 Relief – Customs Agents to Sue Terminal Operators, Shipping Companies

nigeria covid 19 relief customs agents to sue terminal operators shipping companies
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National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, is set to drag terminal operators and shipping companies to court over refusal to refund charges and levies collected from importers and their agents during the lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recall that the Federal Government had directed terminal operators and shipping companies to grant 35 days demurrage waivers as relief to cushioning the economic effects of the pandemic.

To this effect, the Council petitioned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, claiming that both Terminal operators and shipping Companies connived with the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to undermine the relief measure.

NCMDLCA, in the petition signed by its National President, Lucky Amiwero, noted that the government directive conforms with the principle of force majeure restricting the movement of all agencies especially the Importer/ Licensed Customs Agents, LCA.

The petition read in part, “NPA aided the Terminal Operators and Shipping Companies by issuing the circular HQ/GM/MRS/OP/L.1/VOLII/434 OF 14TH MAY 2020 on the demand of the refund to the National Council Of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA after the ease of the lockdown, when the Terminal Operators/ Shipping Companies have illegally and forcefully collected the rent of the 35 days without refund to the Importers/Licensed Customs Agents, LCA.

“The Management of the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA was forwarded with the Terminal Operators and Shipping Companies receipt of payment made by the importers/Licensed Customs Agents, LCA which falls under the date of the waiver of the 35 days that was illegally and forcefully collected, which was not paid up till date”.