Over 800 import documents, each of which contains information on about 200 containers, are being processed daily under the recently introduced Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, the Nigeria Customs Service has said.
This, it said, was a marked improvement over about 230 applications, which it started with shortly after taking over the destination inspection of imported goods from three service providers 10 weeks ago.
The Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Yusuf Bashar, stated this in Lagos on Wednesday.
He spoke to journalists on the automated inspection scheme under the NCS.
Although he said the target of the NCS was to process 1,000 applications every day, the current figure, Bashar noted, had matched the maximum number of import applications collectively being handled by all the three former service providers on a daily basis.
He said, “There is a great improvement; we started with about 230; at the close of work on Tuesday, we processed 839 PAARS. All the three service providers had handled a maximum of 800 daily.
“Our target is to do up to 1,000 daily. We are pushing the bar every day to reach the target. If we are able to generate 839 PAARS daily, it means the compliance rate is improving. We can only generate the PAAR if they are sending in good documentation and everyone is doing its own bit.”
The Federal Government had in December last year directed the three contracted scanning service providers, Cotecna, SGS and Global Scan, to transfer the responsibility of providing destination inspection service at the nation’s ports to the customs. This took effect from December 1, 2013.
Hitherto, the three companies were in charge of approving new Form M, issuing Risk Assessment Report and scanning operations for goods imported into Nigeria.
The customs boss also spoke on the backlog of work inherited from the former service providers.
Bashar said, “We inherited 99,342 partial e-Form M from the exited service providers. They just abandoned them. We decided to filter them because some are genuine. We are able to filter 64,484 into the PAAR platform; we registered 34,812 on the platform. The banks were able to send final documents for 34,041.”