The Union of African Shippers’ Councils has called for the immediate suspension of Peak Season Surcharges imposed by shipping lines serving the West African Trade Route.

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Alongside the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, it condemned the actions of the European Community Ship Owners Association, noting that the 400 per cent hike by its members would destabilise the business operations of Nigerian shippers.

The position of the union was contained in a statement signed by its Head of Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu and titled ‘UASC calls for immediate suspension of Peak Season Surcharge’.

The UASC made a reference to the letter sent to the ECSA by the NSC on August 16, 2020, which stressed that the hike in surcharges was a violation of previous UASC/ECSA agreements requiring prior, mutual and reasonable notification.

It urged the ECSA to respect previous agreements and suspend the application of the Peak Season Surcharge until discussions on the new surcharges took place.

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The union also tasked the ECSA to take necessary measures to improve on the general transparency and facilitation of trade relations with UASC’s members.

It was gathered that about $1025 surcharge was slammed on 20ft and 40ft containers on cargoes coming from the United States and US territories, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Charges from cargoes from the rest of the world are also pegged at $1025 or EUR 930.

The charges are different from the ocean tariff rates as well as bunker-related surcharges, security-related surcharges, terminal handling charges, among others that shore up the cost of shipping in Nigeria.