The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called on the Federal Government to simplify the process of issuing End User Certificates, to make the process less cumbersome and reduce delays in cargo clearance.
EUC is a document issued by the Federal Government through the office of the National Security Adviser on controlled imports including arms, weapons and ammunition, to certify that the buyer is the final recipient of the materials and is not planning on transferring the materials to another party.
Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS, Vice President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto, said, “This issue has been lingering for the past two years. It is the office of the National Security Adviser that issues this document, however, when you apply for it, they will send it to the State Security Service (SSS) that does the verifying of the imports document before they send the importer back to NSA for issuance.
“It is a very intricate process and the major factor that is contributing to delay in the clearance of commodities that require End User Certificate with importers bearing high cost of demurrage. Some of them may have even started their procedure before importation, but the consignment will arrive and they will still not be able to get the certificate. Government should look into it and see how the process can be simplified.
“A situation where it will take a minimum of six months to acquire End User Certificate is uncalled for, it is killing trade and it is not helping our economy even though we know that there are some unscrupulous elements who would want to circumvent the procedure and the imports will fall into the wrong hand. But we are saying the government should begin to simplify the procedure of acquiring the EUC to facilitate jobs.”
Farinto also called for a review of the over 200 items requiring the End User Certificate, just as he urged government to promulgate a law that would allow only trained clearing agents handle the clearance of controlled imports.