Rogue agents impede cargo clearance at Apapa ports

Rogue agents impede cargo clearance at Apapa ports

Monday, February 29, 2016 5:51 pm

Apapa port

Apapa port

Funsho Balogun

The Controller, Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, has revealed that the dishonest act of clearing agents who prefer to make declarations that are usually not genuine have made speedy clearance of cargo an impossible task.

According to Egbudin, the set objective of 48-hour cargo clearance will remain unachievable until the clearing agents decide to comply with trade regulations. ‘’We still have discrepancies in declarations as most agents are still not transparent in their declarations. If they make honest declaration, it will make clearance of their cargo fast, save them from incurring demurrage and help Customs to facilitate 48-hour cargo clearance policy of government,” he said.

However, despite the dishonest declarations by clearing agents and the low traffic at the ports at the beginning of the year, the Apapa Command still managed to rake in N24 billion in January 2016, an impressive sum in terms of generated revenue. And the Apapa area Controller remains upbeat, hoping that as import trade improves earnings at the ports would rise.

Egbudin has also emphasized that importers should be truthful with the information they give in the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, PAAR as it often contradicts the final documents submitted to Customs. The PAAR was designed by the NCS to ensure seamless trade facilitation.

Meanwhile, the mobile scanner at the Apapa ports has packed up. But the Apapa Area Command Controller claimed the bad scanner has not impacted negatively on cargo clearance since the fixed scanner still in use has remained underutilized due to low cargo traffic. He disclosed that more efficient scanners will soon be procured.

Concerning allegations that various Commands issue different tariff on vehicles, Egbedun’s advice is that intending vehicle importers should ensure that they visit the customs valuation unit for facts on the correct duty before importation

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