Licensed Customs agents face stiff punishments and sanctions if they commit infractions such as concealment, false declaration or forgery under the new Customs Act.
The Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 was signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari on May 23, 2023 – six days before leaving office.
The new law replaces the 65 years old Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) of 1958.
Section 206 of the new Nigeria Customs Service Act provides for sanction of up to N5million for violators unlike the previous Act written, which made provision little or no sanction for non-compliant agents.
“An excise license holder who contravenes any of the provisions of the Customs excuse duty is liable on conviction to a fine of N5,000,000 and N50,000 for every day of default and imprisonment for a term of three years,” Section 206 of the new Act read.
Section 208 of the new law also provides that “where goods declared in accordance with excise duty requirements are found whether after their removal from the premises of manufacture not to correspond with the declaration made, the goods shall immediately be forfeited.”
Section 18 of the new law also granted retention of four per cent free-on-board (FOB) value of imports for retention by the NCS to finance its operation.
Under the new law, only career Customs officers not lower than the rank of Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) qualifies to be appointed as Comptroller-General.
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