Clearing agents operating at the nation’s seaports yesterday threatened to take legal action against shipping companies over the collection of container deposit fee.
The clearing agents under the aegis of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, (NCMDLCA), described the collection of the deposit as against international best practices.
Speaking to journalists, President of the group, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, said that the fee was illegal adding that the group has written to the shipping firms to desist from such practice or face legal action.
Amiwero said that the issue of container deposit fee is only done in Nigeria as it is not practiced elsewhere in the world.
He disclosed that the Nigerian port industry has never had it this bad adding that policies of government have not helped matters.
Similarly, the Deputy President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Mr. Kayode Farinto, blamed the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, for not taking any action against these shipping firms.
Farinto said that despite the fact that the country is recording a lull in cargo throughput, the shipping companies are making more money from container deposit fees as they knew there were infrastructural challenges.
Container deposit is demanded by shipping companies from importers as a guarantee for the return of their empty containers.
The shipping companies hardly refunded the fee, mostly on allegation of delays or slight dent on the empty container.
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