Freight forwarders under the aegis of the Concerned Accredited Freight Forwarding Associations (CAFFA) have called for the immediate revocation of all licenses issued by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to protect government revenue.
The group in a letter addressed to the Comptroller-General of Customs, a copy of which was obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY said apart from the financial gains into the coffers of the government via licensing fee, the use of Tax Identification Number (TIN) by the importer as the declarant has rendered Customs license moribund and invalid.
It further noted that the use of a corporate body as a licensee is now outdated and of no consequence in the era of e-commerce tagged paperless shipping concept with a bias to trade facilitation even as it advised that the NCS should adopt and expand Wireless Fidelity (WIFI) concept as a network that allows individual entry into Customs operations and interactions.
The letter read in part, “It is on record that the Nigeria Customs Service has a mandate to regulate and control its licensing processes through three options viz corporate, individual and firm.
“Under the circumstance of Customs reforms which is ongoing, it is very necessary that we enthrone a policy that will ensure that it is only an individual person that can be referred to as a professional other than a corporate body to perform functions in relation to Customs formalities.
“We advocate that the Customs management should undertake to accredit individuals rather than a corporate body in carrying out its statutory duty. The e-commerce of Customs administration has provided such an opportunity in the new era of paperless shipping. We are all aware that Customs examiners are duly allocated with password to perform their official duties of authorizing customs releases, a replica of what is happening in the financial institutions like the banks.”
It harped on the need for the NCS management board to “enter into strategic cooperation and partnership with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) management which has the statutory responsibility to train and retrain freight agents to undertake highly technical duty of Customs as experts”.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.