The Nigerian Customs Service and important stakeholders in the shipping industry are ready to announce a new operating procedure for cargo clearing intended at addressing the logjam that has marked the process previously.
The freight forwarding group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, and the Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, convened last week to strike a preparatory deal on timely positioning of containers for customs examination with a view to improving on cargo delivery turnaround and trade facilitation.
Mr Alli Shobande – Deputy chairman of the freight forwarding group of LCCI stated that some of the issues agreed upon by both parties include resumption time for positioning of containers for examination adding that while work resumption time remains 8.00am, positioning of containers will be done at 10.00am.
He explained that multiple registrations at the exit gates and terminals were also addressed and measures have been put in place to stop a repeat of cargo registration.
He stated: “One-stop shop has been established as an antidote to multiple alerts and agents are to take advantage of this innovation. Furthermore, a dispute resolution desk sits daily to resolve issues and unresolved issues are referred back to the Customs Area Comptroller for his intervention.
“To further enhance the movement of cargo, the command has worked out modalities to optimise the use of barges. Exit and loading points will be manned by Customs and application for such movement will be initiated by the terminal operators and shipping companies as the case may be.
“Considered of importance is the need for terminal operators to issue debit note, 24 hours after the arrival of vessel and commencement of discharge”.
Confirming the development, the public relations officer of the Tin-Can Island Customs Command – Mr Uche Ejisieme, disclosed that the command had an engagement with the LCCI freight forwarding group and some decisions that will facilitate trade were taken.
Ejisieme disclosed that the command has also concluded plans for an enlarged stakeholders meeting during this week where a Standard Operating Procedure, SOP, will be announced to all stakeholders.