Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Willy Egbudin has appealed to wood exporters to adhere strictly to the Federal Government policy on wood export to avoid seizure.
Egbudin who was speaking at a sensitization workshop for exporters in the command recently said the workshop became imperative due to the recent upsurge of unprocessed woods exportation, which according to him, is either due to ignorance or desperation of exporters.
He explained that the Common External Tariff (CET) schedule six prohibits unprocessed woods for exports, but with a proviso for exports of railway and furniture components.
“But out of ignorance and desperation some people have gone to cut raw timbers for exports. You have to add value and create employments for our teeming youths,” he said.
He warned that any exporter who fails to follow the guidelines for wood exports will have his goods seized pointing out that the command had made seizures of 25 containers of the unprocessed woods in the last three weeks.
ASYCUDA Project Manager (APM) of the command, Deputy Comptroller, Yusuf Malanta who took the exporters through a training session explains all the documentations and processes required for wood and other exports.
A representative from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Forestry Department, S.C Kanu further explained the procedures for obtaining woods export support letter from the ministry.
According to the new guidelines for wood exports released by the ministry, “The maximum allowable dimensions for exports are length 30mm-350mm, width 50mm-360mm and thickness 25mm-345mm. The support is valid for 12 months after which a new one is applied for.”
The guidelines also mandated that the woods must be inspected at the port of export by the inspectorate unit of the forestry department and pre-shipment inspection documents obtained while advising exporters to strictly adhere to the sizes and volume specified by the guidelines as any deviation from that will attract suspension or withdrawal of the Ministry supports.
“The budget office of the Federation has notified the Comptroller General Customs of the new guidelines for wood exports. The beneficiaries are to have all the required permits including, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) certificate for exports, strict compliance with the provisions of the extant guidelines for non oil exports, completion of Nigeria Exports Proceeds form and that of the Customs Service, opening of letter of credit for buyers and repatriation of foreign exchange proceeds arising from the approval into the company’s domiciliary account in Nigeria, and all the corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) required as a company.
“The permit to all semi-processed and processed wood exporters, procedures, guidelines and documentation for export from Nigeria also includes letters of request from prospective buyers, evidence of permits from the state where the wood will be sourced, pre-visit to the factory site by relevant officers from the Federal Department of Forestry among others.
“The critical aspect of the new requirements for wood exports is that, the exporter must own a saw mill where these woods are been processed to the required sizes for exports. This will add value and create employment opportunities for Nigerians,” it stated.
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