Cargo Defence Fund
The Cargo Defence Fund (The Fund), an initiative of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), is a company limited by guarantee set up as a Cargo Protection & Indemnity (Cargo P & I) scheme. It is established to mitigate losses incurred by shippers, especially small time importers and exporters, who may not have the financial muscle to pursue their legitimate maritime claims.
The Fund is a mutual scheme to provide cover for particular risks as agreed upon by members, focus is on Nigerian importers and exporters. It became operational in 2001 and is managed and administered by a Board of Trustees representing major interest groups and stakeholders.
Services Provided Include:
- Legal / Technical Advice
- Loan to pursue Claims / Litigation / Arbitration
- Payment of Risk Management Services
- Foreign Legal Representation
- Cover for Specific Risks as Agreed
- Quality Information Services
- General Risk Management Advice
- Convene Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
Claims procedure under the Fund:-
A complainant writes formally to the Secretary, Cargo Defence Fund, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, 4, Otunba Ayodele Soyode Lane, Apapa, Lagos or through the Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, attaching a set of copies of the relevant shipping documents including a Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Parking List, etc. and any other document that may assist in handling the complaint.
In addition, a shipper i.e. importer/exporter involved in export/import business in Nigeria is expected to take note of the following information provided hereunder concerning what information/document that would be needed to pursue his claim in the event of damage, theft/short landing of cargo:
1. Irrespective of the party complained against, it is the duty of the shipper in all cases to notify the parties concerned in writing immediately, of the existence of discrepancy before taking delivery of goods. When goods arrive at the port or warehouse in discrepant condition, the shipper should urgently notify the parties concerned for reasons stated below:-
i. Marine insurance claim:- prompt notification is necessary to enable the Insurance Company concerned to promptly appoint a Surveyor or Loss Adjuster to evaluate the cargo or consignment to determine the extent of damage and the degree of redress needed.
ii. Where a shipper is claiming directly from a carrier or his agent in the event of damage or loss occasioned by breach of Carriage of Goods contract, the shipper is duty bound to write the carrier, immediately, placing him on notice and inviting the carrier’s representative to carry out a survey and write out a damage report. Where it is a case of short landing of cargo, it is the carrier’s responsibility to issue a short landing certificate in that regard.
iii. Where a shipper is claiming from a terminal operator, where the consignment arrives the terminal, a discrepancy certificate is issued to confirm the extent of damage and admitting or apportioning liability. This is done at the instance of the shipper.
iv. Where cargo has been transhipped through an intermediate Port:- where the transhipped cargo is found damaged, the shipper should promptly notify the insurers of the interruption in transit, providing information as to the circumstance and requesting insurers to continue the insurance in force and appointing a surveyor to examine the goods and make recommendation as to their reconditioning, forwarding or disposal.
v. Where the cargo arrives in the port subject to General Average:- where cargo arrive the port subject to general Average loss or damage, shipper should in addition to prompt notification inform the general average loss adjuster of the extent of damage suffered by the cargoes. This is to be done on the Validation Form and attached to a Survey Report. Prompt notification to the general average loss adjuster would enable him to make the appropriate reduction in the contributory value of the goods to reflect the damage sustained in the voyage.
vi. Where cargo is subject to marine insurance claim:- the shipper is expected to provide the under listed documents in the event of a marine insurance claim:
- Certificate of insurance
- Policy of insurance showing how the insured value has been assessed
- Commercial invoice
- Parking list
- Bill of lading/Air waybill (non-negotiable copy)
- Waybill/Tally sheets issued by Terminal Operator/NPA showing discrepancy
- Surveyor’s report
- Repair estimate (if required)
- Copy of letter to carrier giving notice of claim and carrier’s reply
vii. When cargo is short landed/short delivered by the carrier, the following documents would be required to establish claim:-
- Final out turn report/certificate showing the amount of cargo delivered. For short landed cargo, the out turn report must show the amount of cargo received.
- Short landing certificate – to be issued by the carrying vessel;
- Terminal operator Shed Delivery Record (SDR) and the tally sheets;
- Nigerian Ports Authority/Terminal Operator Quay tally sheets and shipping company tally clerks sheet showing details of cargo discharged from the carry vessel
- Discrepancy Certificate issued by the terminal operator in case of cargo received in damaged condition
- Commercial Invoice
- Parking List
- Bill of Lading/ Air Waybill
- Damage report issued by the carrier’s representative or marine surveyor
viii.Where shipment of cargo is delayed:-
- Booking Notes issued by the shipping line agent in the country of origin or any communication confirming expected departure date
- Bill of Lading showing shipment details
- Masters Log Book showing voyage details
- Commercial Invoice
- Certificate of Origin
- Packing List.
2. The above information can be submitted to the Cargo Defence Fund secretariat, in the event of claim arising, through Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s Area/Zonal offices nationwide.