Non-payment of charges responsible for abandonment of vehicles

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Managing Director of Clarion Bonded Terminal, Mr. Frank Okocha, said the inability of importers to pay freight charges before bringing in vehicles is partly responsible for the abandonment of vehicles at ports.

Okocha said lack of payment for freight often made it difficult for importers to obtain the original bill of lading, making it difficult to clear vehicles at ports or terminals.

Speaking to The PUNCH in Lagos on Wednesday, Okochs said: “On the abandonment of vehicles at the terminal, even when the duty was not so high, some people still abandoned vehicles at the terminal. There are various reasons for which people abandon vehicles. You know, overseas, you don’t pay before service. All you have to do is let your agent know you have freight to ship and book. Once your reservation made, you send the contact details and the necessary documents, it is when you pay your freight that they give you the original bill of lading with which you can now go to the port of destination and clear the vehicle.

Okocha also blamed negligence and corruption as other reasons for the abandonment of imported vehicles at ports or terminals.

“So many people, after booking and shipping, won’t pay their freight and because they haven’t paid their freight, they won’t get their original bill of lading. Since they can’t get their original bill of lading, they can’t clear customs. These people end up abandoning their vehicles either in the ports or in the terminals, where the vehicles are. Another aspect could also be the negligence of officers trying to cut corners and customs will say “no”. In such situations, the rent will pile up so high that some of them will drop it.

According to him, “But you know that once an importer receives a draft bill of lading, they can use it to begin pending processing when they receive the original bill of lading.

“Without this original bill of lading, no shipping company will ever release the shipment to you as it shows that you are the true owner of this shipment.

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