Cargo–clearance: Agents lament operational challenges, multiple debit notes at P&CHS

Clearing agents at the nations ports have lamented undue operational difficulty at Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited (P&CHS), stating that the difficulty sometimes leads to multiple charges being levied on cargo owners via double Debit Notes issuance.

Disclosing this to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, a clearing agent, Badmus Kasali revealed that at times, after collecting Customs release and shipping release and paying rent or demurrage charges, and Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) is released, agents still find it difficult to bring in their vehicles into the terminal due to congestion issues inside the terminal.

According to Mr Kasali “The situation sometimes leads to multiple charges being forced on the cargo owners. When an agent has a TDO, it means that you have finished your job and you need your truck to load. Now, your truck can be held up for days along P&CHS terminal because of the congestion inside. The trucks could be there for two days. So when your Debit Note expires while waiting to load, they will ask you to pay for additional Debit Note. This is unacceptable, and many of the freight forwarding groups and leaderships have refused to raise any eyebrow over this.

“This has been happening for a while now, and our leaders have not staged any protest. Who bears the cost of double payment for Debit Notes? Are the agents to blame for the expiration of the initially issued Debit Note? At the end of the day, this kind of unwarranted additional cost is added to the eventual cost of goods for the common man on the streets.”

Confirming the issue of multiple Debit Note issuances to the Nigerian Tribune, Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr Kayode Farinto revealed that the issue of multiple Debit Note issuances at P&CHS has been raised with the terminal operator.

In his words, “We have told our members with issue of Debit Note at P&CHS to give us feedback anytime they encounter such. Yes, we know these things are happening at P&CHS, but when it happens, if our members don’t give us feedback, the association will not know.

“We know that there is congestion inside the ports as we speak and P&CHS has challenges with space management, however it is imperative for the terminal operator to grant validation for affected clearing agents. We have told our members to inform us at the chapter or national level if the terminal operator fails to validate their Debit Note claim.

“But the problem we are having is that our members will not come and inform us of these happenings all because they are in a hurry to clear their container and move to another job. These Debit Note issue at P&CHS has become a very big problem for us.”

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