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SHIPPING CHARGES: Court orders status-quo

By Godfreyy Bivbere
LAGOS—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday ruled that the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, STOAN, and Association of Shipping Lines Agency, ALSA, should return to status-quo over shipping and terminal storage charges.
The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, upheld the appointment of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, as port economic regulator and therefore dismissed a case filed by members of the ALSA against the NSC over a directive to the agencies to reduce their shipping line agency charges, SLAC, and refund container deposits within 10 days.
It also ruled that STAON should revert to what they were charging before the increase in 2009.
“It is easier for the camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for this court to uphold the prayers of the plaintiff,” Justice Ibrahim Buba stated while dismissing the plaintiff’s case.
STAON had dragged NSC to court following advertised publication announcing the reversal of storage charges at the ports to that which was in force as at May 1, 2009. NSC also ordered an increase in the free storage period at the port from three days to seven days.


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