Customs at Apapa says no going back on 48hours cargo clearance
.Tasks importers on honest declaration
By Silas Onuoha
The new Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Abubakar Bashir, has called on importers, clearing agents, terminal operators and other agencies within the premier port to improve on operational efficiency, in order to ensure 48hours cargo clearance from the port.
Comptroller Bashir said this while addressing participants at the stakeholders meeting, organised by Apapa Customs on effective use of Time Release Study (TRS) to enhance speedy cargo clearance in line with World Customs Organisation, WCO, standards.
The CAC further disclosed that Apapa Command has collapsed multiple Customs alerts into a single unit, with a view to streamlining cargo clearing processes in the port. This, he said becomes imperative to remove hindrances within the cargo clearing chain.
Comptroller Bashir said, “Any delay in cargo clearance procedure would not be tolerated. We are going to operate in line with WCO standards and the laws of Nigerian, in order to enhance trade facilitation at all times. I met the terminal operators in Apapa port and made our position on 48 hours cargo clearance known to them. Our duties of trade facilitation and revenue generation must be carried out effectively”.
The meeting, which was an interactive forum, gave importers and clearing agents doing business in the premier port opportunity to share ideas on issues that should be addressed urgently, to speed up cargo clearance in Apapa port, in line with international best practice obtainable in advanced countries.
The CAC advised importers and clearing agents to study Customs laws and understand their responsibilities in cargo clearing processes, in order to avoid unnecessary delay. He also said that importers should ensure full compliance with government fiscal policies by doing honest declaration and appropriate documentation of their cargo.
In his remarks, the National Coordinator of TRS, Comptroller Wale, said that TRS is very important in cargo clearing and also a requirement by WCO.
According to him, TRS provides a scientific approach in cargo clearing procedures by measuring the time involves in every activity within the clearing chain. This he said, helps to detect where the barriers are in cargo clearing procedures. His words, “The WCO gave us six months for this pilot study. We began the study in July 2018, and would conclude in November, 2018”.