LCCI raises alarm as Customs PAAR experiences delay

By Dapo Olawuni

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has picked holes in the issuance of the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) a document issued by the Nigeria Customs Service, saying that importers are supposed to get the document under 24hours but it now delays for two weeks.

Sequel to the customs taking over the duties of Destination Inspection sercice providers in 2013, the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) was introduced as a trade document to replace the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) issued by the service providers.

Speaking on the alleged delays in a chat with our correspondent, Deputy Chairman Freight Forwarders Trade Group of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mr Las Alli Shobande  alleged that the e-document which is expected to take less than 24 hours, now delays for about two weeks.

Though he acknowledged that when the PAAR was introduced six years ago, it has helped stakeholders in cargo clearance until recently when it experienced delays.

Speaking, he said “The issue of the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by Customs has helped, however we still have delays in issuance of PAAR”

“When the scheme started, PAAR was being issued within 24 hours, you can go online and your bank would receive it.However, for some reasons, it is taking much longer these days, it now takes a week, sometimes two weeks”

Also speaking with our correspondent, a Customs licensed agent, Elder Chinedu Agim lamented that the delay being experienced in PAAR issuance has further subjected the document to corrupt practices by Customs officers

However, in a contrary opinion, Coordinator of the Western Zone of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Sir John Oforbike said the delay in PAAR is based on lack of proper documentation by the importer or his agent.

Oforbike said “It depends on your documentation, if you submit incomplete document, you cannot get it right, but if you submit all your required documents, you will get your PAAR immediately”

“So, we should be talking from the part of doing what is right, we should not be talking from the part of somebody who has not submitted a complete document and he got delayed, its a different thing”

“Mind you, there is now 3rd party form M, if customs sees this, they will not issue you PAAR”

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