Customs introduces mobile app for verification of import duty 

hameed ali
Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.


The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Thursday, said it was set to introduce a webb tracker mobile application and a simplified standard operating procedure for the use of scanners in its efforts to deepen the Federal Government’s policy on ease of doing business.

Customs Spokesman, Joseph Attah, in a statement, explained that the mobile app “enables any person that has access to the NICIS II to remotely validate any declaration/payment and more importantly the status of a particular consignment/vehicle”. 

“With this innovation, motorists and owners of other imported goods no longer have to wait for a long period of time for field operatives to confirm the validity of their documents before letting them go,” he said. 

Attah said the mobile app, which can be installed in mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, will enable the use of vehicle identification numbers to upload data concerning the type, make and model of all vehicles at the point of making declaration with a view to assigning value for the payment of appropriate Customs duty.

“On the road, field operatives using this mobile application will be able to, in real-time, validate any Customs declaration using the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the Customs control numbers to ascertain the correct status of vehicles and other containerized goods released or in transit.

“This, apart from removing acrimony associated with enforcement activities on the highways, will robustly facilitate free flow of compliant trade while checking illegal imports,” he said. 

The Customs spokesman also said that a new simplified standard operating procedure provides clear guidelines on the usage of scanners at all entry and exit points in Nigeria.

“The steps are: all containers are pre-scanned as soon as they are discharged from the vessel. The declarant makes declaration, assessment and payment. NICIS II risk engine allocates scanned containers to designated image analyst. Compliant containers are released from Customs control. Released container is acknowledged and exited through the gate.

“For non-compliant containers: at the end of each day, a list of suspected containers is forwarded to the terminal operator. Terminal operator positions them for physical examination on the request of the declarant. Officers on recheck duty examine the suspected containers. Examination is submitted to the scanner manager for further action. Released container is acknowledged and exited through the gate,” he said. 

Attah said approval for the new mobile app and standard operating procedure for scanning was granted by the Customs Comptroller-General, Hameed Ali, who he said “expressed the hope that these tools will eliminate encumbrances being currently experienced by international trade actors in Nigeria”.

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