Customs warn importers against trading in banned goods

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday warned importers against trading in goods banned by the Federal Government.

The Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Sani Madugu gave the warning during a chat with newsmen in Lagos.

“We always mention those items that have been banned, but if you go to the market you will see them.

“They sell the left-over they have in their shops and their stores because the law has not backdated the ban.

“This ban is not actually prohibition. It is prohibition by trade. You need to know the difference between the two.

“There is absolute prohibition, which means it should not come at all. Then there is prohibition by trade, you cannot bring in large quantity and sell to the public.

“If you travel out, buy one piece and you come back with it, the Customs will not seize that one piece from you.

“They are as conversant as we are. The importers, the agents, they are very knowledgeable people.

“They know what government has banned and they know what government has not banned. They even have copies of the circulars.

“Some of them go as far as Brussels; our international body to collect certain things.

“When you are arguing with them on classification, they will be able to defend themselves; they argue a lot. Decisions go to as far as headquarters.

“After the tariff decision in headquarters has taken place, they even appeal our judgement and go to Brussels.

“So when they get there, whatever Brussels decide, will be communicated (back) to the Nigeria Customs Service.”

He warned that the Customs would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any importer caught trading in contraband.

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