Definition of Terms

Bill of Lading:

A document describing the particulars of the goods in the vessel, example, in a container groupage, pallet. It carries the following information:

The particulars of the shipper:

  • Port of Origin
  • Port of destination
  • The quantity of goods
  • The packing list


Final Bill:

Final Bills are bills raised

Harbour Charges:

These are charges or bills raised for the operation that takes place in the Harbour; which include Pilotage dues and others


This is a document that has the description of every information about the goods on board a vessel. The Captain and the shipping company, prepares and submit the manifest to the appropriate department (NPA and Customs)

Mowca Dues:

Maritime Organisation of West and central Africa Dues. These are charges levelled or deducted from general cargo or container that comes into the country for the development of the maritime section for member states, NPA collate the levy.

Provisional Bills

These are those bills raised by NPA in favour of a vessel or shipping company that has the vessel that berthed in the harbour. In other words, Provisional Bills are bills raised after all the operations in a particular vessel for the commencement of operation which at the end of the operation the actual or final bill will be raised.

Ship Dues:

These are dues arising from the operations in the ship example the fresh water supply.

Definition of Terms as it relates to Cargo Dues:


This includes all kinds of commercial value and moveable personal property. They are usually measured in cbm or tonne.


This includes baggage, animals, (whether alive of dead) and all other moveable property of any kind what so ever.


It is an omnibus term that includes fares, rates and tolls of every description, this includes charges payable for the use (actual or constructive) of static facilities.


When used in relation to goods includes any consignor, consignee, shipper or agent for the sale or custody, loading and or unloading of the goods, as well as clearing and forwarding agents.


These are rates charged on cargo within a wharf for wharfage and wharfinger services.

Harbour Dues:  

Charges for the provision calm waters, sweeping the berth and maintenance of the fending system.

Environmental Protection Levy

Charges paid to cover the cost for clean-up, preservation and protection of the port environment arising from cargo operation.

Foreign Cargo:  

In this context relates to all cargo originating from beyond the tropical West African sub- region either inward or outward traffic.

Tropical West African Cargo (TWA):

This is applicable to cargo originating within the west coast of Africa lying between latitude 15° North and 15° South.

Coastal Cargo:  

This is applicable to cargo originating within Nigerian Territorial waters exclusive of service boats. Goods previously landed and paid for in any sea port in Nigeria and subsequently moved to another Nigerian Port will attract coastal charges.

Midstream Operation:  

This is an operation involving the discharge/ loading of cargo from mother vessel to smaller vessel or barge going to a particular port

General Cargo (Break Bulk):       

Any cargo that is palletized, unitized or bagged.


Can be either laden or empty and they come in the following: 20ft, 40ft, reefer and specialized containers (Oversized or undersized) they are usually classified in TEU’s (Twenty Footer Equivalent Unit) and they can either be imported/ Export


These are measured in cubic meters (cbm) from 15cbm for cars and over, heavy duty vehicles are classified under trailer


This means animate things of every kind except human beings


This is a traveller in a ship who is not a crew member.


Berth or Wharf:               

This is a place a ship anchors, be it mooring or hard quay other than an anchorage.


Is the toll or charge assessed against goods from a vessel passing over or through any berth or wharf including channels, basin, canals or mooring that belongs to the Authority

Port Pier:            

This is royalty paid to NPA for the use of private Jetties

Ship to Ship Discharge: 

This is an offshore cargo operation involving two or more vessels transfer of cargo from mother vessel to a daughter vessel and vice versa to another port or facility.

Single Bouy        

An offshore operation involving cargo discharge through underwater pipeline to a shore Mooring (SBM) based facility.

Ship to Rig:         

This is the transfer of cargo from the ship to rig or vice versa.


This refers to the discharge of cargo from stowage position on one vessel, storage on the terminal and subsequently loading of the same cargo onto a feeder vessel for onward transportation.


Similar to Trans-shipment but in this case the cargo is offloaded from the vessel to terminal to be stowed or directly conveyed by road, rail or pipeline for onward transportation.

Service Boats    

These are vessels involved in movement of passengers, oil related cargo, equipment or supplies from a logistic base to oil fields/ rigs offshore.

Cargo Types

Bulk Cargo:        

This refers to Homogeneous cargo that can be classified under Dry Bulk and wet Bulk.

Dry Bulk:             

This means clinker, gypsum, grains, nuts, coal and bauxite and similar goods but excludes (liquids, containers, bagged cements carried in bulk) and discharged or loaded continuously by elevator, grabs, conveyor system or pneumatic pressure.

Wet Bulk or Liquid Bulk:                

Cargo in a fluid state or of a flowing substance.