Introduction to the New Maritime Bill: What You Need to Know 

The Nigerian government is preparing to significantly reshape the maritime sector with the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill 2023. This legislation, aimed at repealing the existing Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act, has successfully passed the second reading in the House of Representatives.  

Key Provisions of the New Regulatory Framework  

The proposed bill introduces several substantial changes to the governance of maritime activities: 

  • Repeal and Replacement: The current Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act will be replaced, introducing a new era with the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Act, designed to meet contemporary challenges in the sector. 
  • Establishment of a Regulatory Agency: The transformation of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council into a formal regulatory authority will empower it to oversee tariffs, rates, and other economic aspects of port operations. 
  • Mandatory Registration: All maritime service providers will be required to register with the newly established agency, ensuring a more streamlined and accountable industry. 
  • Tariff Regulation: The agency will actively regulate tariffs to prevent excessive charges and promote fair competition within the port sector. 
  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: The bill focuses on reducing operational costs and enhancing service delivery, aiming to improve the efficiency of maritime operations. 
  • Dispute Resolution: It will provide mechanisms for the timely and fair resolution of disputes between port users and service providers. 
  • Strengthened Enforcement and Compliance: The legislation emphasizes comprehensive enforcement and compliance strategies to ensure effective regulation and oversight of maritime activities. 

Implications for Industry Stakeholders  

The enactment of this bill will have far-reaching implications across the maritime sector: 

  1. For Shipping Companies and Port Operators: 
  • Increased Regulatory Oversight: Entities will face heightened scrutiny and will need to adhere to stricter regulatory standards. 
  • Predictability and Transparency: Standardized operations may lead to more predictable business environments, aiding in strategic planning and investment. 
  • Competitive Environment: Fair pricing regulations are expected to level the playing field, allowing smaller operators to compete more effectively. 
  1. For Importers and Exporters: 
  • Cost Efficiency: Standardized tariffs may reduce operational costs, enhancing profitability and making Nigerian ports more attractive for international trade. 
  • Operational Reliability: Improved efficiency in port operations could minimize delays, facilitating smoother and faster supply chains. 
  1. For Maritime Workers: 
  • Employment Stability: More efficient operations may lead to greater job security and potential growth within the industry. 
  • Skill Development: The establishment of clear standards and training requirements will likely enhance worker qualifications and service quality. 
  1. For the Public: 
  • Economic Advantages: Effective regulation may contribute to national economic stability through fair and competitive market practices. 
  • Enhanced Service Quality: The public could benefit from more reliable and cost-effective maritime services. 
  1. For Investors: 
  • Infrastructure Opportunities: There may be significant opportunities to invest in modernizing port infrastructure to support enhanced operations. 

Stay Informed with SimmonsCooper Partners  

As the maritime industry adjusts to these changes, it is crucial for all stakeholders to remain informed and proactive. SimmonsCooper Partners is ready to offer strategic guidance and legal insights to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape effectively. For more detailed insights, contact us at or visit our website at

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