Agent kicks against seizure of goods by Customs

Lucky Amiweiro

The President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Lucky Amiwero has asked the Federal Government to prevail on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to stop seizing goods that are not contraband. 

Amiwero said Customs should rather, in line with the provisions of the law, subject all goods that have not been properly declared or on which correct import duties have not been paid to re-assessment after which Demand Notice should be issued to the importers of such consignments. 

In a letter to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo titled “Increase of Revenue Collection on the Recovery of Short Levied Duties on Discrepant Cargo as Provided Under Section 142 of Customs and Excise Management Act and the Import Guidelines”, Amiwero said Customs has to be compelled to obey the provisions of the law as contained in section 142, 36 Paragraph J of the Import guideline and Section 3(2) of the Pre-shipment Act 11 of 1996.

Amiwero argued that instead of seizing goods as a result of concealment, false declaration, under-valuation or under-payment, which are described as “discrepant goods”, NCS should instead issue DN and collect revenue on them. 

He said, “Section 142(2) – Recovery of Duties states that where any duty has been short levied or erroneously repaid, then the person who should have paid the amount short levied or to whom the repayment has erroneously been made shall on demand by the proper officer, pay the amount short levied or repay the amount erroneously repaid as the case may be.

“Any such amount may be recovered as if it were duty to which the goods in relation to which the amount was so short levied or erroneously repaid were liable. The section only relates to goods that are discrepant and not prohibited/contraband.”