ACG Zone ‘A’ talks tough against fraudulent importers
….Says ignorance is not an excuse
Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) Banke Adeyemo has said that with the full automation of the Customs system, importers who give false declaration or import prohibited items are merely acting in ignorance.
Banke in an interview with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in her office said that with the establishment of the Nigeria Trade Hub Portal, importers who tries to circumvent international trade laws by under declaring their goods and in concealment can easily be tracked down.
She said it is sheer ignorance on the part of any importers who intends to evade duty payment because NCS is now a modernize organization, globally networked with all other customs formation.
“Our system has been automated. With the Trade hub portal and the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), there is no room for ignorance on the part of the traders. If you can’t come to the port or customs formation, you can just log in to the website if you have internet on your mobile phone and make enquiries about duty, procedures on a particular consignment you want to attain,”
She added” We have a valuation data base, for instance if you are bringing in used cars, manufactured in 2010 and if somebody wants to make sharp practices, what we have seen often. On the seat belt, there is year of manufacture but some ignorant importers will scissors and cut it away but we have a data base on cars that are manufactured so that from the chassis and the engine number which you cannot erase or cut will can tell you the date it was manufactured, the ex factory price and we have the depreciating value for that as well and for all other goods that are non automobile. There is nothing an importer will bring that we have not seen the type because there are set standards and prices,” she said.
She however noted that only importers who are fully compliant will benefit from the fast track scheme put in place by the service to reward honest importers.
“We have the fast track facility and our compliant stakeholders some of them are industrial, some individuals over time that the system has show the kind of stakeholders they are, we grant them fast track facility. We are still going to move to the authorize economic operator which is actually the global standard”, she said.