We have been advised that five shiploads of sugar that was alleged to be sub-standard and valued in excess of US$20 million, was impounded last week in Lagos, Nigeria on the recommendation of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON). So far all of the affected cargo has been shipped from Brazil into Apapa and Tin Can Island ports. This action was taken following information that the five ships that were carrying the cargo, did not meet with Nigeria's specifications for sugar imports.
According to the SON, only sugars of two brands are allowed for importation into Nigeria. These are
1 NIS 90:2000 Refined Sugar white maximum 45 ICUMSA
2 NIS 383:2000 Plantation white sugar maximum 60 ICUMSA
This situation has resulted in increased vigilance by the Nigerian authorities and delays in the discharge of sugar may therefore be experienced in the imminent future.
The SON is separate from the Customs Authority and reports direct to the Food and Drugs Administration (NASDAC). SON alone do not have authority to impound cargo but can make recommendations to NASDAC who do have such authority.
The measures, which have been imposed, are aimed at Receivers, not Ship owners and have not been issued in writing. However the Customs Authorities also became involved due to an alleged problem with the payment of Customs Duty on some of the consignments (this is a common problem which occurs quite regularly).
Although discharge was stopped on all five vessels from 15th to 19th November, one of the ships involved (TAI KING), has now completed discharge and sailed and normal discharge operations have recommenced on the other ships.
We advise all members with vessels in Nigerian waters laden with sugar consignments, to clarify with the charterer and shippers, the specifications of the sugar loaded on board and to request a copy of the manufacturers’ quality test results in order to compare them with the SON specifications stated above.
If members intend to fix their vessels to load sugar consignments to Nigeria, they should ensure that shippers should load only consignments that will pass the specification tests of the SON.
Source of Information:
Africa Marine Services (Europe) Ltd
Tel no +44 20 7749 77222