Ship Entry Notice
All foreign registered vessels must be registered by the attending agency with the Nigerian Port Authority in order to obtain Ship Entry Notice (SEN), without which no vessel is permitted to enter Nigerian waters (30 miles off). It is adviseable that the SEN is obtained as early as possible in order not to delay the entire declaration process. Once issued, the SEN is valid for three months but must be applied for on each occasion the vessel calls.
Ship Entry Notice is not applicable to vessels carrying petroleum products in bulk or in ballast.
For this purpose the following information is required for registration:
Vessel's name, nationality, port of registry, certificate of registry number, GRT, NRT, loa, draft, port of origin and port(s) desired in Nigeria, expected date of arrival, tonnage of cargo to be carried (inward or outward) and description of cargo, for which permission is sought - bulk liquid, cement, containers (in container carrier or mixed cargo vessel), general cargo etc.
14 days prior to arrival the Harbour Authorities have to be provided with 12 copies of the cargo manifest, 5 copies of the freighted manifest, 3 hatch lists and 3 stowage plans, otherwise berthing will not be possible. Preparation of preliminary manifest calls for: name and address of shippers and consignee, cargo description, quantity and marks. Whether freight is prepaid or collect. ETS port of loading. Accurate ETA required
It is observed with regret that ships arrive in our territorial waters/roads long before their published Expected Time of Arrival, thus building up unnecessary congestion which decree 40 of 1975 (now Act 40) was promulgated to check. The effect of this phenomenon is that the control built into the Ship Entry Notice is neutralised and abused.
To give the desired effect to the control of ships inflow as intended in the "Ship Entry Notice" no ships arriving seven days earlier or later than their Expected Time of Arrival will be treated as Arrived Vessels and therefore will not be accorded berthing facilities. Action will be taken to clear such ships from our roads to the high seas and such Owners or Agents will be blacklisted.
With the Federal Government's relaxation of import restrictions which is followed by a progressive rise in the number of ships calling, the need for rigid application of the provisions of Act 40 cannot be over-emphasized. It will therefore be to the best of interest of all concerned to cooperate in this direction with a view to controlling a possible build-up of waiting vessels.
Shipping Companies are invited to take advantage of other ports outside Lagos and Port Hartcourt, where facilities are under-utilized such as Calabar and Delta Ports.
Total ban on submission of additional manifests by shipping companies
BIMCO has on 27 april, 1995 received the following report. The managing director of NIGERIAN PORTS PLC has issued departmental memorandum md/25/cir/132 dated 19/04/95 to all port/traffic managers in NP PLC, reading as follows:
"Ref: Total ban on submission of additional manifests by shipping companies
Management has decided that henceforth additional manifests should on no account be accepted from any shipping company and any excess landing of cargo (unmanifested cargo) by vessels should be rejected immediately and should be sent back onboard
the carrying vessel.
Any Port/Traffic Manager in violation of this rule will face the consequences.
Signed Engr. Wali s.Ahmed
Managing Director NP PLC"
In view of the above it is essential more than ever, full and complete manifest is receive by agents well in advance, as only one submission is allowed on which provisional bill is calculated. Coastal cargo loaded a few days before arrival in nigeria should only be accepted after prior agreement and if manifest can be in agents hands in Lagos before loading takes place.