Customs reverses itself on examination of Inland -bound cargoes at ports

Customs reverses itself on examination of Inland -bound cargoes at ports

Abiola Seun       |
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has rescinded the directive of 100 percent examination on cargoes bound for the Kaduna Inland Dryport and other bonded terminals in the country.

Recalls that the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) had directed that containers bound for Inland Dry Port (IDP) are to be unsealed, opened and examined to ascertain the contents and resealed before exiting the mother port.

But, in a circular, HQ/012/19 tagged “Stemming Irregularities Associated with Transfer To Bonded Warehouses/Terminals” made available to newsmen yesterday, the Customs CG admitted that the earlier directive will fuel congestion at the seaports.

According to the circular which was signed by Assistant Comptroller General, AOB Falade, the CGC further stated that ‘sight on the spot’ of all transit goods shall no longer be carried out at the port of discharge but 100% physical examination at the premises of final destination.

The circular reads, “Consequent upon circular no. No. Hq/009/2019 dated 21st October 2019, the Comptroller-General of Customs is envisioning port congestion as a result of sight-on-spot of Transit goods ports at the Port of discharge.

“Furthermore, the ilicit movement of consignments and the fraudulent use of bonded worehousing facility have been discovered by the management. ln addition, it has also been affirmed that the present practice and mode of escort in conveying Transit goods from port of discharge to final destination deems to contravene the extant provision as outlined in the Customs and Excise Notice No. 7 (published in Government Notice No. 1603 of 1968).

“ln order to stem these tide; the following guidelines are hereby put in place

in addition to, and in accordance the statutory requirements as provided for in Part iV of LFN 2004 Cap45 (CEMA) and

C&E Notices Nos 9 and 10. Thus, you are hereby directed to NOTE and be guided as follows.

“Operators of bonded warehouses must have final approval letters and must have renewed their licenses the current year.”

The Circular directed that the cargoes meant for transfer to bonded warehouses must conform to extant fiscal policy guidelines and must be under armed excort with relevant documents.

“Goods meant for transfer therein must conform to extant fiscal policy guidelines. All transfers of stemmed cargoes must be under armed escorts with relevant landing certificates issued, attested to by the officer-in-charge of Enforcement at every Bonded Warehouse as well as the escort officers.

“Transires that are not part of the stemmed containers are not allowed to be transferred to bonded warehouse without payment of Customs duties and other charges at the port of discharge.

Approving CACs must ensure the receipt of relevant loading Certificates within 48hrs of transfer.”

“A register showing details of all goods transferred to Bonded warehouses must be maintained by all receiving and transferring Area Commands.

”All receiving and transferring Area Commands CACs must ensure maintenance of corresponding registers by the respective bonded warehouses’ operator.

“Monthly returns of all goods transferred to Bonded Warehouses must be made to Headquarters by both receiving ond transferring Area Commands. All Extant laws on Transit and Transire goods MUST be complied with accordingly.

“All Escort officer(s) MUST insist to, and collect landing certificate at the final destinotion of the goods. The ‘sight on the spot’ of all Transit goods SHALL no longer be carried out at the Port of discharge but 100% physical examination at the premises of final destination.

The CGC however called for strict compliance to the newly released circular warning that violation will attract sanctions.

“Henceforth, the escort of Transit goods within Lagos shall be the function of the Federal Operation Units (FOU) and Escort of Transit consignments up country (outside Lagos) to its final destinations shall be the responsibility of Customs Police unit (CPU) unless otherwise directed by the management.

“Any officer(s) that controvenes or violates any extant provision regarding the obove subject shall face severe punishment in accordance with Customs Laws. Ensure strict and immediate compliance, please.”

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