By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are indications that the Nigerian Shippers Council is not totally in support that the Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) should be tied to cargoes leaving Nigerian ports.
Even though the Council supports POF collection as a concept, it however argued that it should be collected as fees from practicing freight forwarders, and not collected on every cargo leaving the port.
The port economic regulator argued that the cargoes belongs to the “Shippers” and not the freight forwarders as being erroneously implemented by CRFFN.
In a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS at the weekend, a senior director at Nigerian Shippers Council (names withheld) said it was wrong for CRFFN to issue directives to terminal operators not to exited from Nigerian ports without payment of POF.
In his reaction, the Shippers Council Director stated that “I hope this directive is not coming from CRFFN, that cargo should not be exited without the payment of POF. The cargoes belong to Shippers and not freight forwarders.
“In as much as we support the payment of PoF, the payment should not be tied to Cargo. It is practitioners fee for freight forwarders”
“This is akin to saying that a patient should not be discharged from a hospital because the Doctor that treated the patient failed to remit membership dues to Medical Association of Nigeria. Please let us be guided”
“Cargo can’t be delayed in port for that. But we encourage all Freight forwarders to pay their PoF” he said
The Shippers Council top chief was reacting to an exclusive report by our correspondent on plans by CRFFN to begin collection of the controversial POF by 1st August 2021.
In a notice to port users issued by Grimaldi Shipping, a copy of which was sighted by DAILY TREND NEWS, the terminal stated that payment of CRFFN dues is now a compulsory requirement for releasing of cargoes.
The notice signed by management of the shipping company, warned that Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) would no longer be signed except POF payment is reflected.
Under the POF regime, the CRFFN is targeting between N5 billion to N10 billion annually from the collection of the POF.
Under the POF regime, importers would pay N3.5 per tone of cargo imported into the country, N1.5 per kilo for air cargo, N1, 000 on each imported 20-feet container and N2, 000 per 40-feet container.