26 March 2019

Liberia: NPA Cancels Demurrage Charges At Free Port

The Management of the National Port Authority (NPA) last weekend announced with immediate effect, the cancellation of demurrage payments and charges on all containers being shipped into the country as of April 1, 2019.

The Port management said its decision's is extremely necessary to alleviate the unwarranted hardship and huge financial nightmare on shippers and members of the business community suffered over the years.

A statement issued in Monrovia on Sunday, March 24, dates the imposition of extra fees and charges as far back as 2016 by the former ruling government, terming it 'demurrage'; something that usually amounts to several thousands of United States Dollars and has caused serious financial headache to shippers as well as end-users.

"Demurrage is a charge levied by shipping agencies to the importers in cases where they have not taken delivery of the full container and move it out of the port or terminal for unpacking within the allowed line free days".

The NPA Management says the imposition of demurrage in 2016 by the past government cost huge losses to shippers and diversion of consignments and containers to neighboring ports.

"The NPA management is therefore positive that the cancellation/abolition of demurrage at the port will foster improved customer service delivery, unpin business distress and halt overstay charges for importers," the statement said.

The NPA also says the move is part of the Weah administration's commitment to relieve the business community of unnecessary barriers and boost international trade.

Bill Twehway, NPA Managing Director, expressed gratitude on behalf of the Executive Management team to the shipping agencies and other stakeholders for their cooperation and consent to cancel demurrage at the port, following a roundtable discussion on the matter.

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