Urges importers to comply
By Ajibola Abayomi,
The Controller General (CG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) has expressed the agency’s readiness to ensure speedy clearance of goods at the nation’s ports.
Addressing maritime stakeholders in Lagos, he strongly advised the nation’s importers not to delay the process saying that the customs Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) could be delivered to them within 6 hours.
The guidelines according to the CG, who was represented by Customs Area Controller (CAC), PTML Area Command, Lagos, Aremu .A.M (Mrs), at the one day town hall meeting on 24-hour port operation organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in Lagos stipulated that all containerised goods must be palletised and used spare parts must be packed in cases and on top of pallets.
He added that the parking list must be itemised as arranged in the container, dismantled or unassembled vehicles must have specific diagram and chemical abstract service must have a chemical analysis number (CAS) and that all vehicles imported must have 17 digit VIN number on the bill of lading, advanced cargo manifest to enable the risk management profiled and separate according to the risk levels of the imported good and plant and that the equipment must be accompanied with diagram among others.
According to Mrs Aremu, the NCS now has the responsibility to coordinate the mandatory joint examination and sign off form to ensure that the interface between the trading public and the several regulatory agencies are reduced to the barest minimum.
She said the NCS had joined other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in making commitment towards the transformation of the business landscape in Nigeria.
The CAC added that the customs was focused on improving the nation’s ranking which stood at 182 Trade Across Borders particularly in the reduction of import and export time up to 50% through strict adherence to the international standard and procedures.
“In order to achieve greater service delivery at our ports, the Department of Home Finance and the Federal Ministry of Finance reversed the Nigeria’s import and export guidelines streamlining the current procedures. In line with World Bank recommendation, the FMF has directed that import document be reduced from 14 to 8 and that of Export from 10 to 7,” she added.