dikoLagos-The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Area 1 Command, has said it would sanction clearing agents that refused to make honest declarations.
Comptroller Eporwei Edike, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Apapa, organised to address the challenges confronting port operators.
He said that agents should make honest declarations, to reduce the time spent on inspection of goods.
Edike said it was time to identify all issues slowing down transactions at the port.
He urged customs agents to feel free in calling his attention to issues they felt dissatisfied with.
“Call my attention to any issue you feel unsatisfied with but if your declarations are not true and we find out about it, we will not turn our eyes away from it,’’ the controller said.
Edike, however, said that regarding the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), the service would not hesitate to uplift the value if it discovered contradictory reports by importers.
“Clearing agents should have collected the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) before the goods arrive the ports,’’ the controller said.
He said the command generated N301.3 billion in 2014, in contrast to the N230.1 billion generated in 2013.
Edike said the command was mindful of its revenue, adding that most items which ought to be seized were covered under Section 16 (b) of the Customs & Excise Management Act) CEMA.
Reports state that Section 16 (b) of CEMA provides an alternative for a non- compliant importer to pay six times of the value of goods, rather than seizure of such goods.
Edike, however, advised importers and agents to direct their complaints on port passes to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Mr Malanta Yusuf, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, in charge of the Automated System of Customs Data (ASYCUDA), urged terminal operators to put all necessary reports in place before cargo examination.
An official of the APM Terminals, Apapa, Mr Daniel Odebe, said the customs command had made remarkable improvements on the PAAR inspection regime.