Electronic Customs Clearance seeks to replace customs declarations and administrative files with e-messages. The purpose is to substitute Customs paper procedures with electronic systems. Electronic customs clearance was endorsed in Europe in 2003. Ever since, many European countries have queued into the paperless clearance. Are countries like Nigeria and other African countries ripe for this electronic system of clearance?
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ELECTRONIC CUSTOMS CLEARANCE: NIGERIA CUSTOMS GOING PAPERLESS?
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has acquired the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari to start electronic customs clearance. The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, unveiled this at the graduation service of 40 officials. Graduation of officers is from the Senior Course 3 session at the Customs Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada, Abuja. Ali said the e-leeway will change the tasks of Customs, accommodating quicker freedom of merchandise.
Ali said, “Export and import processing will be paperless. Your performance evaluation report will not be written on paper; you will fill it online and your superior will assess you online.”
He moved Customs operatives to have a mentality of preparing to receive the aptitudes once the leeway innovation is up.
IMPLICATIONS OF PAPERLESS CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
Electronic customs clearance is by no means new. The concept is long practised in Europe as stated in the opening paragraph of this article. This electronic system has both positive and negative implications. What we like to do in this article is highlight the positive implications of this new system in Nigeria. More information will be disclosed as we watch things flow. From the Europe experience, electronic customs clearance offers the following advantages:
- Makes the clearing of goods automated , and by implication speeds up the process
- Simplifies the process of customs clearance
- Reduces human interface
- Eliminates or reduces corruption from the process of customs clearance
- Makes for easy and available import and export data
WILL ELECTRONIC CUSTOMS CLEARING REDUCE EMPLOYMENT IN THE VALUE CHAIN?
From the day the Customs Boss made the statement on possibility of e-clearance, many have involved in heated arguments. Some say that the system will rob people of their jobs. Others argue that it hinder clearance in Nigeria settings. A friend of mine feared he would likely be out of business as a Customs Broker. We do not want to take part in this kind of speculations. However, like every new systems, if finally afloat, time will be needed to see things unfold.
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Electronic customs clearing may soon be the way forward, following this announcement from the Customs number one man. The e-method will affect exporters, importers, Customs operatives and even Customs Brokers. At Vagmon, we believe the effect will be positive. Rather than speculate, it is better to build anticipation for this new way. Contact us today, using our number; +2349075526276, our emails on the contact us page. Our responsibility is to clear your goods in the most economical and efficient way. Thank you for the fraction of time invested in reading through this piece.