In less than an hour, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday issued the first Pre -Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) document with number CN20130017589 01 .
Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdulahi, disclosed this at a town hall meeting with importers where he flagged off the implementation of the PAAR scheme and launched the Nigeria Trade Hub at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Ojo, Lagos.
Dikko said that contrary to what is obtained in the past when service providers issued the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) in five days; under the PAAR regime importers will clear their consignment in less than six hours, thus reducing cost of doing business at the ports.
“This is to announce to the trading public that we have started. The first PAAR has been issued within 58 minutes. It is really encouraging and promising that today we can issue a PAAR document in 58 minutes. Before now what is happening during the RAR regime is like five days which is only official, we know it is more than that. The trading public has been complaining about the RAR issue but with this, that is now a thing of the past. This PAAR is going to be issued before the arrival of the cargo and if for those who ensure compliance, they will get their cargoes in less than six hours,” he said.
The Comptroller General who also donated and commissioned an Information Communication Centre (ICT) to the Balogun Business Association (BBA) traders to help them access information on the Trade Hub urged them to ensure compliance with trade regulations if they are to benefit from the new regime.
“I want to inform you that customs has changed. Before now, the relationship between traders, importers and customs is like Tom and Jerry but today I am happy that I am the initiator of coming to the traders. This is my second coming and it marks history,” he said.
Dikko stated that under the PAAR regime, once a container has been duly released by a customs officer, it will no longer be intercepted by any officer.
He disclosed that a committee comprising traders, police, customs and other government agencies will be created to that effect.
“At any given time a cargo is released, whoever stops it will get the wrath of the law because customs cannot release and customs still stops it,” he said.
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