Homogenous container examination? Cargo examination is the physical or electronic inspection of imported or exported goods by the Customs Services. Not only the Customs, other governmental and security agencies play a part in cargo examination. Agencies like the NCS, DSS, Police, SSS, NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, NESREA, NAQS, etc. are the regular examination bodies in Nigeria.
Cargo or container examination seeks to establish correctness in the import and export process. Thus, compliance to the law of the land is supposedly the foremost reason for cargo examination process. Additionally, examination is a way of protecting the importer and the exporter by making sure that goods are what is on paper.
To see more reasons for cargo examination, read my article for; CLEARING GOODS THROUGH CUSTOMS NIGERIA.
WHAT IS “HOMOGENOUS CONTAINER EXAMINATION”?
Sometimes the number of containers imported or exported are many, and this could make it difficult to examine each container item physically. Hence, the introduction of “homogenous container examination.” Homogenous container examination is a practice where some containers in a bulk shipment are pick randomly for examination based on the discretion of officers at the port.
Do you think it is proper thing to choose from the bulk of containers, a few for examination? I do not think so personally. Especially considering the level of insecurity in the world. However, my use of the word physical examination in the first sentence of this paragraph is intentional. Container examination can be through electronic scanning devices. I am not sure why we do not have enough scanners in Nigeria.
Read Also: FORM M NIGERIA: HOW TO PROCESS AND OBTAIN IT
“HOMOGENOUS CONTAINER EXAMINATION” ABOLISHED BY NIGERIA CUSTOMS
The ban is in a circular with reference number EI&I/2021/circular No.008, titled New Rules on Homogenous Examination.
“The common practice of homogenous examination where bulk containers scheduled for examination are randomly selected for examination is hereby abolished.
“Henceforth, examination of containers, no matter the quantity, must be positioned, cut and examined before exiting the command’s terminals. Any releasing officer who fails to comply with this new directive will be sanctioned accordingly.” The Assistant Comptroller General Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection (EI&I) stated the penalty before signing the circular.
Container examination in Nigeria is a painstaking, analogue and physical process. Consequently, examination officers often do sampling of a few containers for examination in a bulk. The fear of not doing a thorough job amidst insecurity could be the reason for ban of such practice. Will this ban on homogenous container examination further delay the already slow clearance process? Time will tell. Thus, we will keep an eye on this, and update our teaming readers as events unfold. Thank you for reading this piece. Finally, feel free to contact us for import and export clearing in out of Nigeria.