Maritime expert calls on customs to decentralize PAAR center

A maritime consultant, Augustine Orji has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to decentralized the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) center rather than have it concentrated at the customs headquarters.

In a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office, Orji said that one major challenge causing delay in the issuance of PAAR is due to the fact that the customs ruling center responsible for the issuance of PAAR is concentrated on the hands of few trained officers at the customs headquarters who could no longer contain the high volume of work being transmitted to the PAAR portal.

He said due to the constant network failure of the customs server, the system is usually choked up thereby causing delays.

“Nigeria has not grown in this technology; we don’t even have our own satellite because networks disturb a lot. So you can’t centralize a system where there is no network and when there is a huge traffic, it will affect the system. We want to copy what we don’t have. We should first of all look at the bureaucracy before you embark on such project”, he said.

Orji who although lauded the effort of the Customs Comptroller General in the introduction of the PAAR regime said the anticipated six hour cargo clearance will only be achieved if customs creates different zones issuing the PAAR document across its various formation.

This according to him will lessen the burden of the officers issuing the PAAR document.

“Let it be decentralized in all the seaports, like Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar. All cargo clearing zones should have PAAR personnel there issuing the PAAR.  Airport should also have theirs; it should be separated from seaports because the PAAR you issue for airport should not be the same with that of airport because of freight disparity. The border points should also have theirs separately”, he said.

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