Customs not responsible for clearance of sub-standard tyres – PRO

SON arrests two Chinese for importing N5bn fake tyres

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said products standards  control is the responsibility of Standards Organisation of Nigeria  (SON), not the NCS.

The Acting Public Relations Officer, NCS,Joseph Attah, made the  clarification while reacting to the recent seizure of substandard  tyres by SON in Lagos.

He told journalists in Abuja that the function of customs was to  collect duty and ensure that contraband did not enter the country.

Two Chinese men were caught for allegedly importing the substandard  tyres worth over N5 billion in Lagos.

He said customs’ duty was not to determine quality but only to collect duty.

According to him, once an importer gets a clearance document,  certifying an item okay by SON, customs would only collect duty and  release such item.

“People who sometime ask question, need to know the function of  customs and the function of other regulatory agencies. Before customs  clears an item, a personnel of SON will be present to certify it okay.

“If the personnel out of negligence or did not carry out his duty  properly and signed that the item is okay and cleared it, customs will  collect duty and release such item because of SON clearance document.

“The issue of standard is in the hands of SON, customs only to  collects duty so far that is not contraband.

“We are not in a position to determine quality, the job of  determining quality is in the hand of SON and if it is a food item,  the job of determining whether it is fit for human consumption is  NAFDAC.

“So in this kind of situation, it is only when you trance the clearing  document, you will know whether a personnel of SON is involved or not.

“There is no way customs will release containers of such tyres without  a clearance certificate by the SON,’’ Attah said.

He said that during every examination of an item, if any importer got  a clearance document signed by SON certifying such item okay and  attachd it to that of customs document, such item would be released  after duty payment.

Attah cited an instance that if Garri was not prohibited and NAFDAC  official signed an examination paper certifying it okay, once customs  officials got an evidence that NAFDAC had cleared it, duty would be  collected and the wares released.