By Godwin Oritse
THE Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, has said that the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has concluded segmentation of importers with a view to separating trade compliant importers from non-compliant importers.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report, chairman of the Tin-Can chapter of the association, Mr Segun Oduntan, said that the profiling of traders and importers will go a long way in taking quick delivery of cargoes from the ports.
Oduntan disclosed that the importers were categorized into three segments, adding that importers in the first segment were those that can take delivery of their cargoes from the port immediately upon arrival because they have been known to be very trade compliant.
He explained that this group of traders can move their cargoes to their warehouses where the value will be calculated after which duty can be paid. Those in the second category were importers who have issues with their documentations but are prepared to correct the infractions and ready to pay whatever difference there is to be paid.
The last category of traders, according to the new system, are known to be non-compliant and would do everything to short-change the system. Oduntan said, however, that “this group is not more than five per cent of traders.”
Confirming the development, the Command’s Public Relation Officer, Mr Uche Ejisieme, said that the command was trying to rejig and fine-tune its operations such that compliant traders would be treated expeditiously.
Ejisieme said: ”We are actually trying to rejig and fine-tune our operational modalities in such a way that compliant importers are treated expeditiously in the clearance process. Further to this is our renewed commitment in ensuring that fast track beneficiaries are treated with dispatch in the value chain.
“The command took cognisance of three distinct categories of traders: those that are ever ready to comply with the extant laws as it relates to trade, those that are willing but sometimes are indeterminate; and those who are out-rightly adamant with a penchant for circumventing the fiscal policies.
“Our focus is on the second category of traders. For the second category, we will continue to engage them through sensitization for them to see the need for compliance. And for the third category, we will continue to decimate their criminal content as appropriate.”