Clearing agents have expressed satisfaction with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for putting a stop to Query & Amendment (Q & A) unit handling value-related functions.
The NCS had in a recent circular signed by its Deputy Comptroller Trade & Tariff Headquarters, Aliu G. T, directed that “the valuation unit take over value-related functions being covered by the Q & A seat in the commands”.
Aliu said that this is to further enhance the revenue profile of the service.
The customs valuation unit taking over of Q& A value-related functions has turned out to be a welcome development for clearing agents.
Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on the development, Chairman Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Electoral Commission, Alhaji Babatunde Abdualzeez, said that Q &A unit is merely duplicating the functions of valuation unit and it is long overdue to have it scrapped from the customs clearance system.
“The intent and purposes of Query & Amendment is to resolve any documentation error that might arise during the course of clearance procedures but they transformed suddenly to a parallel valuation unit and it is my opinion that this recent circular has been long awaited because the Q & A is a duplicity of the function of the valuation unit that has been creating a whole lot of nuisance because when the valuation unit gives a value the Q & A unit rejects it and professionally they don’t have the mandate to do that” Abdulazeez said.
National Secretary Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFF), Frank Obiekezie, said that it would be one less challenge for clearing agents to encounter in the course of carrying out their customs clearance process to have the Q & A unit relieved of its value-related functions.
He said: “Anything that helps to reduce any table even one in the customs goes a long way in facilitating the process because sometimes when valuation have gone through a document they say it will go to Query & Amendment and at Q & A it could take you two to three days to be attended to. That is why you most times see crowd there.”
Obiezekie however raised an eyebrow at the NCS reason for divesting Q & A of its value function noting that “if the unit was not helping revenue why was it created in the first place.”
On his part, Ojo Akintoye, another customs agents operating at the Tincan Island Port, said it is not enough for the Nigeria Customs Service to prevent Q&A from handling value-related functions but to put an end to resident officers issuing alerts on a consignment.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.