336 - 12/03 - Problems with voyage charters to Nigeria -West Africa
We have been advised, by lawyers, of several recent cases where ships chartered by Nigerian entities to discharge in Nigerian ports and have either been detained en route to the discharge port or whilst in the actual Nigerian discharge port itself. Considerable delays have resulted in substantial demurrage claims where it is unlikely the owner will be able to recover.
These Nigerian entities often voyage charter vessels to carry rice from Thailand and India to West Africa. We have been informed that, due to suffering delays as above, they have had several demurrage claims arise that have seldom been settled. In one case, a ship named the 'Gladiator 1' was chartered and carrying rice owned by Ibeto, was detained in Durban for over six weeks and the cargo arrested by several claimants.
Further delays are anticipated when the vessel arrives in Nigeria.
We would like to make Members aware of the fact that chartering vessels to Nigerian entities could result in the above and we have been advised that owners should be warned to avoid chartering their ships to Nigerian entities unless they are properly protected by, for example, the lodging of suitable bank guarantees or the like by charterers.
Source of information:
Shepstone & Wylie
Durban, South Africa