National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has again urged the Nigeria Customs Service to synergize with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) in order to help reduce issue of false declaration by fraudulent importers.
Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in Lagos at the weekend, Secretary General of the Association, Increase Uche said unless the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and the CRFFN Act are harmonized to allow for both the licensing of individual freight forwarders and corporate bodies by Customs, it would be difficult to curb fraudulent malpractices by dishonest importers.
He said licensing individual freight forwarders will professionalize cargo clearance operation.
“The fraudulent importers are the ones creating this problem and unless government will sit down and listen to what the freight forwarders are saying, it will be difficult to reduce cases of false declaration. In the US today, the major sector in the trade chain that fights to bring the issue of corruption and false declaration to a minimum is the freight forwarders and what we are calling for is professionalism.
“Where licensing of practitioner is done by Customs and they are licensing somebody that is not trained, a corporate body, it should be an individual thing.
In the US, we have over 13,000 individual and corporate bodies that are operating as customs brokers but here they keep on concentrating on corporate bodies and somebody can always commit crime and hide under corporateship of that company and go away but if it is an individual, they will only block the person’s license code and the person is out of business and there will be sanity in the system.
“It is left for them, if they want professionalism; it is easy to be done. They should give CRFFN the chance to operate so that the entire system will be sanitized,” he said.
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