Clearing agents and freight forwarders have accused the foreign shipping companies of exploiting and extorting Nigerian importers through the introduction of arbitrary charges on a yearly basis. This is even as the agents expressed fear of a new shipping levy come 2018. Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, a customs agent Izuchukwu Obasi, explained that some importers have joined the bandwagon and moved their cargoes to neighboring countries due to unnecessary shipping charges shipping lines slam on Nigerian bound cargoes. “According to Obasi,”In 2016, the shipping lines first came with a new charges called government and port taxes.
They were imposing the charges on importers, and many had no choice other than to pay, even though some of our clients complained to us. “The year is coming to a close now and the shipping lines are still collecting the PAD charges plus the 2016 government and port taxes, alongside other normal charges importers pay before 2016. Many importers are already looking at a new levy in 2018 because it is fast becoming a yearly ritual. New year comes with new shipping charges for Nigerian importers. The situation is that bad.”.
Also speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, the Spokesman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Kayode Farinto confirmed that the PAD charges are still being collected. In his words, “Importers are still paying the levy and nobody seems to be talking about it again. We just hope the government does something about this.”
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