Customs to extend provisional release deadline for unprocessed RARs

There are indications that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may extend its deadline for provisional release granted importers and their agents to clear their consignments as a result of the backlog of over 99,000 unprocessed Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) inherited by the Service after takeoff of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).

The NCS in a circular dated 11th December had given January 31st as deadline for importers to apply for the pre- release and was expected to commence full implementation of the new clearance regime on 1st February 2014.

According to the circular, goods that have arrived on or before 30th November with approved e- form ‘M’ and processed final documents but not issued the RAR are to apply to Customs Area Controller for provisional release upon payment of duty and other necessary clearing process.

When SHIPS & PORTS DAILY visited the Tin Can Island Port command yesterday, it was confirmed that the command no longer receive applications for provision release.

But following complaints of delay from agents that it takes between one and two weeks to get approval of the provisional release, the customs management may have bowed to pressure to extend the deadline.

A senior customs officer serving at the command had also informed our correspondent that the command had sent a letter requesting the customs high command’s approval to grant it an extension of two weeks to clear the backlog of yet to be processed RARs.

He said the customs management will likely yield to the request because the PAAR has not started rolling out as expected.

“We have reported to the headquarters and we have appealed that it should be extended for Tin Can because of the volume of cargo we handle here. It will be nice if they can extend it by one or two weeks,” he said.