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Customs agents urge PTML to jettison charges on forklifted vehicles



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LAGOS- The Association of Nigeria licensed customs agents (ANLCA) says the additional N50,000 per unit charge to cover the high cost involved to handle cars with a forklift from the vessel to the final delivery should be cancelled.

Alhaji Rilwan Amuni, Taskforce Chairman, ANLCA, Tincan chapter, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday that the proposal was illegal and would not work or stand the test of time.

NAN reports that the  Ports and Terminal Multipurpose Ltd. (PTML) said that from May 1, all forklifted cars will be subjected to an additional charge of N50,000 per unit.

According to Amuni, the associations in a joint letter written to the terminal, said that there was no basis for the increase.

“The feelers we are getting is that it has been suspended, Our own is that it should not be suspended, but jettisoned completely.

“This is because it is illegal, the costlier the cost of clearing these goods for the importers, the more it spoils business for us, the agents.

“If the cost is escalating, no importer will import and what will the agents do? So, it is very important we fight this obnoxious proposal,” he said.

He noted that the association would also not accept downward review of the charge, saying the previous should be mentioned.

“They already have charges for forklifted accidented vehicles, they were not doing it for free.

“There is one other one that is in their debit note that is called Port Recovery Charges, we don’t even know what that is for.

“What are they recovering in the port, who is to collect that from them. There are a lot of column that we do not understand, but on this one, we will not accept it,” he said.

However, another agent, Mr Ovien Michael, called for the review of the charge, noting that there were still lots of others at the port.

According to him, expensive vehicles can only be forklifted because of their costs.

“These cars are accidented and the terminal will not tow a car that is okay. While towing the car, it’s the forklift that will carry vehicles that are very expensive.

“PTML had earlier stopped the shipment of accidented vehicles that are not road worthy, when you talk about the chassis gone, the front axial gone, headbags out, vehicle that cannot even drive.

“All of a sudden, maybe because they are not getting volumes as they suppose to, as volume on importation of vehicles have reduced drastically by close to 80 per cent.

“Because of that, PTML decided to join the clique of those bringing in accidented vehicles than more mobile ones.

“For us in the maritime industry, if we are going against it, what provision do we have. We can only ask them for a review of the cost,” he said.

He urged the terminal that since they want to be part and parcel of shipping lines that bring in accidented vehicles, they should make provisions for the storage.

He added that the management team of ANLCA in PTML would dialogue with the management of Five Star Logistics and other sister agencies like National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF ) among others.

“Otherwise, other terminal operators will also follow suit to admit the cost. By the time they join, it will affect those bonded terminals like Classic and Clarion that the vehicle will be transferred to,” he said.

He noted that the shipowners, within two weeks, inflated their fee on containerised job.

“Something that was N75,000, they have taken it to N100,000, one that was N35,000 was taken to N50,000; they are telling us it was due to cost of doing business in Nigeria.

“This is the levy they collect on tally sheet of every shipping company debit note. This is about 80 per cent increment. These charges are getting too much,” he said. (NAN)




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