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Shippers’ Council emphasises importance of INCOTERMS to success of AfCFTA.

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Segun Oladipupo

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has said that to make maximum benefits from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), it is pertinent for stakeholders in trade and transport sectors to be conversant with International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS).

The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of NCS,Barrister Hassan Bello said this on Thursday during a sensitisation workshop on INCOTERMS 2020.

The workshop, which was organised by NSC in conjunction with International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), was themed: INCOTERMS 2020: Necessity for Global Trade Transaction.

Bello said adequate knowledge of the terms would help to mitigate trade disputes and litigation as well as waste of time and resources in international trade.

“It is pertinent for every stakehokder in the trade and transport sector in Nigeria to be conversant with incoterns because it is not only relevant in international trade but in local trade as well.

“When there is adequate understanding of the rules, it will mitigate trade dispute and litigation, waste of time and resources

“AfCFTA started in Nigeria in January, 2021 and Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa must put necessary things in order to understand the right application in incoterns 2020 for Nigerian stakeholders

He stated further that the document which was published in September, 2019 would help traders in making choices in trade terms that would benefit the economy of Nigeria.

“It will create awareness, one will be able to make appropriate choices of the rules in the trading transactions so that our economy will benefit from such rules

“Most of you are aware that INCOTERMS are trade commercial terms and it is the international chamber of commerce to provide international rules for the interpretation of commonly used terms of trade

“They are also aimed at curtailing to a readable degree the disagreement and other things that associate with different interpretations of such trade terms in different countries

“Incoterms  term has gone through many amendments and the last which is the recent version which is incoterms 2020 published since October, 2019.

“On the issue of delay, it is very explicit on the issue of obligations and responsibilities of the parties in the contract, taking into account some complexities that usually arise which include security related obligations with carriage and costs.

In her welcome address, the Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce ( ICC), Mrs Olubunmi Osuntuyi explained that the document is of great importance as Nigerians go into international relationships.

She added that it would help to raise germane questions on AfCFTA which will eventually lead to doing the right thing that will be beneficial to all.

“This document became effective on first of January, 2021, it recognises that there are trade terms that we need to put in place so that we don’t short-change ourselves as we go into international relationship with exporters and importers

“Bringing the stakeholders together  will create a dialogue for AfCFTA and for our economy rightly so that we can benefit from INCOTERMS and the new initiative in the continent”, she observed

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