HeadlinesPorts Management Nigerian Shippers move against CRFFN By maritimemag March 16, 2021136 views ShareTweet 0 — threaten court action to stop POF collection Nigerian Shippers under the aegis of Shippers Association of Lagos have kicked against the collection of Practitioners Operating Fee(POF), describing it as illegal and capable of adding to the cost of doing business at the ports. It would be recalled that the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has commenced the collections of the controversial fees at the ports. However, the President of the Shippers Association, Rev. Jonathan Nicole, warned the CRFFN agents to stay off the cargoes of his members ,stressing that Shippers may be forced to seek legal action to stop the collection. The CRFFN has proposed a POF regime that legalised a collection of a practising fee of N1,000 and N2,000 respectively for 20ft and 40ft containers from Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers, before the release of cargoes. According to Nicol, “every organization have their practitioners fee, the Guild of Engineers, Medical Association, Nigerian Customs Service and others, so why is CRFFN’s different”? “Maybe the nomenclature they used is wrong, every year people pay their practitioners fee, and without the renewal of license one cannot practice. “CRFFN cannot say that they are collecting practitioners fee on consignment because they are laying a very bad precedent, tomorrow the Nigerian Medical Association will say practitioners fee is per person that comes to the hospital. “That is what it is, and what makes it more complicated is that they are saying if one or two thousand naira is not paid, freight forwarders will not be allowed to carry their container,” he said. Nicole noted that shippers are not part of the arrangement, they are not benefiting or taking a dime from the fee and so CRFFN should not use their cargo as defence. He said that if people who are supposed to pay the fees are saying that they would not pay, it means that the council have not done their homework. “This fee is not meant to be per consignment, but per year,” he said. The shippers boss said that he had contacted his lawyers to look into the issue, noting that if he comes out with a very valid argument, they would react in an appropriate manner. “We had gone to the council to discuss this issue with them, but we were told that they are not connecting cargo to the fee but now they are doing so and this is not acceptable. “How much are the shippers making that everybody wants them to bear every brunt, this is so unfortunate,” he said © 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.