Operators in the maritime industry may have to brace for a tougher regulatory regime as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) plans to tighten safety regulations in the sector. As part of the reforms, ship registration processes will be automated and made available online. Tankers operating in the oil industry are also expected to get insurance policies. NIMASA will also be introducing a 3% levy on wet cargoes. Wet cargoes are cargoes whose form is liquid or granular
“The calculation of NIMASA’s three per cent levy on all wet cargoes shall be based on freight tonne, which is cubic measurement and in line with the provisions of the MARPOL Convention, all tankers operating in Nigerian waters are required to have in place adequate and sufficient insurance cover to minimise the risk of losses sequel to oil spills and tanker accidents.”
This was disclosed in a communique issued after an interactive session held in Lagos.
The agency may need to phase the reforms.
NIMASA may have to implement the rules in phases as operators in the maritime sector are struggling. Shippers in the country are currently weighed down by several factors including unpaid bank loans, lack of patronage due to the tough economic climate and the poor state of the country’s ports . The poor standard of the ships, means companies prefer to use foreign firms to handle their operations, thus denying them patronage.
NIMASA is the apex regulatory agency in the maritime sector. NIMASA was formed from the merger of the Nigerian Maritime Agency (NMA) and the Joint Maritime Labour Council (JOMALIC) on the 1st of August 2006. it is responsible for regulations related to Nigerian shipping, maritime labour and coastal waters. NIMASA also undertakes inspections and provides search and rescue services.