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Sunday, 3 January 2021

GASC could be creating its own shipping company

GASC looking to ship commodities for itself? The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) will be allowed to contribute to the establishment of a shipping company to transport commodities under a draft law the Madbouly Cabinet approved during its weekly meeting on Thursday, according to a statement. The bill would allow the state grain buyer to ship commodities in and out of the country and own a fleet of commercial ships. The company would be named Atlantic Pacific Shipping and Trade Co. As it currently stands, GASC often taps the state-owned National Navigation Company to transport the commodities it buys in tenders, according to Reuters.

Why the shift? The statement doesn’t spell out why GASC could be looking to handle commodity shipments on its own, but the state grain buyer had reportedly been mulling asking commodity suppliers to offer their prices on a cost and freight basis, rather than the traditional [redacted]-on-board (FOB). While cost and freight agreements make the seller responsible for arranging and paying for shipping or freight, FOB agreements only require the seller to own and be responsible until it is loaded onto the shipping vessel. Since FOB agreements put the responsibility and cost of any loss or damage to the goods on the buyer, GASC could be looking to cut costs or losses by relying on its own shipping.

Also approved during the meeting: A government committee recommendation to regularize the status of 62 churches and their affiliated buildings and a presidential decree to restructure the Supreme Ports Council, headed by the prime minister.

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