The President, Shippers Association Lagos State, Mr Jonathan Nicol had stated that the association comprising importers and exporters was in support of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) policy. The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) initiated the Cargo Tracking Note, which took effect on Nov. 2, to create efficiency and enhance cargo clearance at the ports.
“We only need a confirmation in writing from the NSC that shippers will not be made to pay the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) charges. ICTN is warmly supported by shippers association. We support the NSC to help in improving the fortunes of shippers. There is, however, no guarantee that the shipping lines will not pass the bill on administrative charges of the ICTN to shippers in future. With the ICTN, the clearing process through Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will be simplified,” Nicol said in a recent interview.
Nicol said the association was not in conflict with the NSC, adding that the Shippers Council as the Port Economic Regulator is to fix prices that must be honored by all as he reiterated the association never clamored for the scrapping of the ICTN.
The shipper explained that ICTN would check under-declaration and put an end to falsification of manifests of ships. Nicol added that there should be a guarantee that the shipping lines would not renege in paying the administrative charges on ICTN in the future. He however stated that at the moment, shippers were weary to load their cargoes because the position of the ICTN was still unknown.
The ICTN is a global initiative to monitor and verify cargo on transit. ICTN were introduced worldwide following the September 11th attacks in USA as a means of improving the security around marine shipments. It has the blessings of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO), of which Nigeria is a member.
The idea first came up in Nigeria in 2007, but attempt to implement it in 2009 was suspended following protest by shipping industry stakeholders as a result of the high charges imposed on shippers. It was then under the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). However, under the current dispensation, the cargo tracking regime will now be managed by the Shippers’ Council as the ports regulator. When fully in force, every shipper, including importers and exporters will follow the laid down procedures to be announced by the ports regulator.
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