Shippers’ Council to reintroduce cargo tracking

About five years after it was suspended, the once controversial Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) may be on its way back.

Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello dropped this hint at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday during the inauguration of a 10-man Committee on the operation of Inland Container Depots (ICDs) in the country.

Members of the committee were drawn from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the NSC.

Bello said that the council had been mandated to implement electronic cargo tracking, an advanced cargos information services in the country.

He said that the electronic cargo tracking would capture international trade arriving and departing from the port of destination and origin.

Bello added that the tracking note would assist Customs in it risk mitigation on imports, enhance and block revenue leakages at the ports.

CTN was first introduced in Nigeria on December 9, 2009 under the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) but was administered by a private firm, Transport and Ports Management Systems Ltd (TPMS) Antaser.

It was however suspended less than a year after its introduction due to stiff opposition by stakeholders.

Speaking on the ICD committee inauguration, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi urged the NSC to ensure that operators automate their operations to enhance clearance of cargo.

“We have to do more in the area of compliance. We cannot operate the ports without the cooperation of the stakeholders, which is the major problem we have now,” he said.

He said that the terms of reference for the committee include developing a workable roadmap for effective release and smooth flow of ICD bound containers to and from the country’s seaports.

He said that it would develop standard cargo clearance procedures and documentation including Pre-arrival Report (PAR), scanning and effective movement of cargo to and from the ICDs.

Abdullahi added that the committee would recommend applicable software (electronic data interchange) for use and adoption by the ICD operators at the respective dry ports. 

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