Area Controller, Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Willy Egbudin has again warned importers who deliberately falsify their declarations with the intent of short changing the government that the Service would no longer raise debit notes (DN) for goods that have been identified as falsely declared.
In a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office, Egbudin said that the command has since commenced implementation of the Comptroller General’s directive that no debit notes be issued for such goods.
He said some unscrupulous importers had taken advantage of Customs leniency to raise debits notes for goods that have been falsely declared but pointed out that going forward, such goods would be impounded as stipulated in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
He however explained that circumstances that would warrant issuing DN would only be when a particular item have not been not properly classified or undervalued.
He said “We won’t raise DN on false declaration. We would only give DN when there is wrong classification, under valuation and under declaration. Perhaps we have been treating the importers with kid gloves that is why they are doing what they like.
“We have also been educating the importers too that whatever your entry is saying what matters is your SGD, declare what you know is there. If it is alcohol declare the exact number and don’t say it is something else,” he said.
Speaking on the command’s increased revenue generation in the last two months, the Customs boss said apart from the increase in exchange rate, measures put in place by the command including going after importers who are yet to pay for their cargo declarations also contributed to the feat.
He said the command collected N28billion in July, surpassed its monthly target of N32billion in August and September with a collection of N35billion and N33billion respectively.
“There has been improvement all along because in July, we had almost N28billion, in August we had N35billion and in September we had almost N33billion. Apart from the increase in exchange rate, we too have been thinking outside the box by pursuing those who owe us like unpaid declarations that have been in the system.We go after them to ensure that they pay and make people also redeem their bond.
“We also tell our officers to look inward to ensure that when they perform examination, they should look into the classification and value of the item and as a result of that, we are seeing a lot of DN coming up on some items that have not been properly classified,” he said.