By Godfrey Bivbere
There is anxiety in the maritime industry over the take-over of destination inspection scheme by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
Vanguard gathered that the Service officially took over the operations yesterday after the hand over by the Service Providers.
While the management of Customs over the weekend said that the Federal Government has directed that it takes charge of destination inspection process from the service providers, operators have expressed worry over the preparedness of the Service to effectively handle the scheme.
A source in one of the service providers’ outfit told Vanguard that they have officially handed over to the Ministry of Finance following a directive to that effect.
With the above, the Service is now to operate the scanners at the nation’s entry points, the seaports, airports and the country’s borders. Similarly, Customs has introduced the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, PAAR to replace the Risk Assessment Report, RAR hitherto issued by the service providers.
Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Dikko Ide Abdullahi, who disclosed this, said that the federal government has directed NCS to fully takeover the Destination Inspection process from the service providers.
According to him, “Today is a historic day in Nigeria because the Federal Government in its own wisdom has directed NCS to fully takeover the Destination Inspection process from the service providers. The implication of this is that NCS will now fully take over imports and exports procedures of our dear country,” he noted.
Dikko said officers and men of the NCS have been undergoing training over the years in preparation for the takeover and are “fully prepared to assume this important responsibility.”
“As this regime takes off, the Service will be charged with the responsibility of managing all areas of the inspection processes. These areas include: Processing of the electronic Form M, issuance of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to replace the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) formally issued by the Service Providers, control of scanning equipment and operations in all the scanning sites in Nigeria,” he said.
The NCS boss also stated that the service will be responsible for the deployment of a robust risk management system organically developed by Nigeria Customs Service in consultation with partner agencies.
However, National Secretary of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, Uchu Block, expressed doubts over the preparedness of the Service of take charge of the process.
Block wondered what platform is to be used by the Service. He also questioned the valuation principle to be applied in regards to Contract on Shipment of Value, Current Domestic Value of the Exporter’s Country as well as what items exactly enjoy duty exemption.