On June 21 2017 a court of appeal sitting in Lagos State declared that the collection of the shipping line agency charge (SLAC) by shipping companies and its subsequent levy on importers and consignees was illegal.

Upholding in part Justice Ibrahim Buba's decision in Alraine Shipping Agencies (Nig) Ltd v the Nigerian Shippers' Council, the court:

  • ordered the appellants to cease collecting the SLAC; and
  • directed them to provide the first respondent (the Nigerian Shippers' Council) with an account of the charges collected at a rate of 21% from 2006 until the present date.

This judgment clarifies that shipping agency charges are illegal in Nigeria. The Nigerian Shippers' Council is now expected to recover the SLAC collected by the shipping companies, as ordered by the court.

For further information on this topic please contact Victor Onyegbado at Akabogu & Associates by telephone (+23 41 790 5831) or email ([email protected]). The Akabogu & Associates website can be accessed at www.akabogulaw.com.