Following the shut down of all international and local flights as way of preventingthe spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, there is palpable fears of port congestion at the Lagos port due to the fact that most shipping documents required to clear cargoes are now trapped in transit.
Already, port operators are calling on the relevant government agencies to prevail on terminal operators and shipping companies to waive demurrage and storage charges at this time, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS on Thursday, spokesman of the PTML Chapter of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Mr Ayokunle Sulaiman confirmed that some consignment are in the port without original shipping documents to clear them.
Findings by DAILY TREND NEWS revealed that there are some import documents which the originals are required for presentation before cargo clearance can be made.
These documents includes; health certificate, certificates of origin and free sales, certificate analysis ( for NAFDAC) phytosanitaires certificate (for plant and quarantine) soncap (SON)
According to Mr Sulaiman, some of the shipping companies do not allow printing of these documents at the port of arrival, hence the original document are usually on courier to Nigeria by flight and DHL.
Sulaiman said that granting of concessions and demurrage waivers by the shipping companies at this time is inevitable because already, congestion is looming.
“Most original shiping documents are hanging on transit, some consignment are in the port without original shipping documents as i speak with you”
“In fact congestion is looming and its not a joke, i have more than five major manufacturers being affected presently, the shipping companies should adopt “PRINT AT DESTINATION ” approach like GRIMALDI shipping” he said
The ANLCA spokesman noted that Grimaldi Shipping usually print their Bill of Laden documents at port of arrival, even as he urged NAFDAC and other agencies to key into this option as well.