FG suspends export of wood products

The federal government has suspended the exportation of all wood products including processed, semi-processed and unprocessed wood.

This is coming after several warnings from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to wood exporters against exportation of unprocessed woods.

Acting on the notice of suspension from the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali has therefore directed all area commands to ensure strict enforcement of the suspension.

“I am directed by the Comptroller General of Customs to convey the immediate suspension of export of all woods and wood products until further notice,” the directive signed by the Deputy Comptroller General Tariff & Trade, Iya Umar on behalf of the Comptroller General to area commands stated.

The approval for the suspension of wood products may not be unconnected to the low level of compliance of the wood exporters to export only processed wood.

Recall that the Area Controller, Apapa Area command, Comptroller Egbudin had recently at a sensitization workshop for exporters in the command lamented the upsurge of unprocessed woods exportation which according to him is either due to ignorance or desperation of the exporters.

He had warned that any who fails to follow the guidelines for wood exports, will have his goods seized pointing out that so far, the command had made seizures of 25 containers of the unprocessed woods in the last four weeks.

Meanwhile, as part of effort to clear the backlog of consignments which were affected by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forex restriction on 41 items, the customs management has asked importers who had imported their goods before the CBN policy to forward their names to the headquarters through their area commands.

Comptroller Egbudin who dropped the hint in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY said the intervention by Customs was to allow CBN approved the Form ‘M’ of the affected importers to that they can be issue with PAAR and subsequently take delivery of their goods.

He said Customs could not track the names of the affected importers on its system because some of them had not make declaration.

“There are some consignments that had come to the port before the policy was initiated, so we have been directed to collect the names of all the importers and their products and send it to the headquarters to see how they can help them so that they can be issue with PAAR and take delivery of their goods.

“Some of the importers had gotten their consignment before the CBN policy but they cannot clear them because CBN has refused to approve their Form ‘M’. The goods have been in the port and they cannot even clear them.

“We have been trying to look into our system but we have not been able to know the exact number of importers that are affected because some of them had not made declaration,” he said.

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