Clearing goods through Customs Nigeria? What is cargo examination? The term cargo examination or simply examination refers to physical inspection of cargo. What really is the purpose of cargo examination? Who does cargo examination? What is new in the Nigeria Customs with respect to cargo examination? We will answer all these question right here.
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This article is written to indicate the benefit of cargo examination. The article will look at a recent directive from the Comptroller General Nigeria Customs. What are its implications to smooth cargo clearance. Furthermore, we shall see how the directive by the Custom Boss is received by ANLCA. ANLCA stands for Association of Nigeria Licensed Agents. Nigeria agents subscribe to ANLCA as its umbrella body for Clearing Vendors in Nigeria.
CLEARING GOODS THROUGH CUSTOMS NIGERIA: CARGO EXAMINATION
Cargo examination is traditionally carried out on all goods imported into the Nigeria space. The benefits of physical cargo inspection includes, but not limited to the following.
- Examination helps to ensure that goods imported into Nigeria are in compliance with Nigeria laws, rules and regulations.
- Protection of lives of citizenry is enhanced through detection of harmful items imported by unscrupulous elements of the society. Hence, physical cargo examination is of utmost importance.
- Physical cargo examination ensures government is not cheated by persons who for any reason choose to undervalue imported commodities. Thus, revenue generation for the Nigerian state is at the heart of cargo examination.
- Again, 100% physical cargo examination ensures the right cargo is delivered to the write owner.
CLEARING GOODS THROUGH CUSTOMS NIGERIA: WHO DOES THE EXAMINATION?
Traditionally speaking, physical cargo examination is carried out by the Customs officers of the seaport command or airport command. During examination, the cargo clearance vendor would also have to ensure inspection by other Government agencies in the Port. The government agencies who may involve in examination includes SSS, Police, Anti-drugs, Anti-Bomb, NAFDAC, SON, etc. Therefore, 100% goods inspection is what is ordinarily expected to be the case for every cargo. However, a recent directive by the Nigeria Customs number one man seems to suggest a lack of trust in the examination process.
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CLEARING GOODS THROUGH CUSTOMS: WHATS NEW WITH EXAMINATION?
New directive from the Comptroller General Nigeria Customs requires that a special team be setup. “Comptroller General Strike Force” is to repeat examinations in the ports and make seizure where need be. The new directive is contained in a circular dated 25th April, 2019 and titled:”100% Examination of Cargo at the Seaports.” This is a very serious matter. All Customs Area Commands are warned against noncompliance. Part of the statement reads: “Henceforth, every Area Controller must respond accordingly to Strike Force Intervention Alerts. The Strike Force tem has been authorized henceforth to intervene right in the port and possibly make seizures where necessary without hindrance. Non-compliance to this circular would attract severe sanctions,”
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW DIRECTIVE?
Many are already beginning to think that this singular action by the Customs Boss could be a lack of trust in the system. On the contrary, others perceive it as additional measure meant to guarantee thoroughness. We do not subscribe to either argument. Of more interest to us is the impact on the process of clearing goods through the customs. I think this is the angle being looked at by both ANLCA and the NAGAFF. NAGAFF is National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders.
Voicing his condemnation of the directive, NAGAFF president said “This is a clear indication that there is apparent system failure in the cargo clearance system. Strike Force intervention is manual. So if at all the automated system is fully working, the system is enough to detect any fraud whatsoever. Since they migrated from ASYCUDA ++ to NICIS 1 and 2, there has not been any value addition. They have not really upgraded the system as to ensure that the tool for risk management is created in a way that all this noncompliance will be checked.”
“It does not speak well of the country when other smaller countries including Ghana and Togo are moving forward in cargo clearance, we are still at the same spot. As we speak, no single scanner is functioning at the port and they care less about it because Customs prefer manipulating the system.”
The Nigeria Customs Service Strike Force has been authorised to carry out its operational activities within the ports terminals. Consequently, the Strike Force operatives would henceforth participate in Cargo examinations in all the ports across the country. The primary purpose for this directive is to ensure 100% cargo inspection. Analysts believe that this directive is capable of destroying nascent and budding digital system in cargo extermination process. Thus, the clearing agents and importers will have their business delayed yet more. Viewed from another perspective, smuggling will be brought to lowest minimum if directive is followed religiously. Vagmon Integrated Services is a consortium that takes off all pains from the clearing process, and allows you do more pressing company duty. Contact us today via +2349075526276.