In a bid to ensure increased adherence to government policies on the part of the importing public, the Customs Consultative Committee (CCC) last Thursday launched its intensive market sensitisation campaign at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Ojo, Lagos.
The Committee was set up by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdulahi, to facilitate trade and monitor the level of compliance by both Customs personnel, importers, and Customs agents.
Membership of the Committee include Customs, importers, Customs agents and the Press.
At the sensitisation campaign, which witnessed overwhelming turnout, a member of the CCC, and National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke, explained to the business community the cargo clearance processes.
Nweke stated that, when importers are fully compliant in their declarations, they will benefit from the fast-track system, which will help in reducing cost of doing business at the ports.
Nweke noted that, when the Service finally assumes full control of destination inspection scheme, the new cargo clearance procedure, the Pre- Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) will further help in facilitating trade.
“The PAAR will ensure that as soon as a vessel leave her port of origin, the shipper or the carrier agent will transmit electronically the shipping manifest to the Customs server, and the Service will in turn send the consignee a message to come forward and take the goods, because it is the system that will trigger the selectivity either for red, yellow or blue channel,” he said.
President of the Balogun Business Association (BBA), whch hosted the sensitisation campaign train, Brother Leonard Ogbonnia, while expressing his appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs for creating the CCC, affirmed that traders at the market have been complying with import guidlines, and are, therefore, familiar with the emergent PAAR regime.
Ogbonnia, who is also a member of the CCC, said that, with the traders’ constant cooperation, importation and trading would be made easy in Nigeria.
“Before now we have been complying, and will we continue to be compliant. We understand the system and that is why we have no issues with Customs,” he said.
The CCC is expected to carry its sensitisation campaign to other markets, as well as Customs formations in the coming weeks.