PAAR: Lagos Shippers’ Association urges clearing agents to be IT-compliant

Following the introduction of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), President of the Lagos State Shippers Association (LASSA), Rev. Jonathan Nicol, has urged clearing agents who are yet to be internet-savvy to acquire training immediately. He also tasked the agents to acquire necessary platforms to conduct their businesses online.
Speaking to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY correspondent in Lagos, Nicol noted that the challenge the new e-clearance system will face is non-availability of the needed modern information technology system to run the programme especially from the end of the users.

According to him, “One of the hitches we may experience in the new e-clearance system is the internet constant connectivity since all clearing processes are done through the internet. Most of the clearing agents are now computer literate because they know that without the ICT knowledge, you may not be able to cope with the new trend but the few ones who are yet to gain the knowledge will have to go back to school and learn how to be computer literate. And of course, an importer will not give his goods to an agent who is not well equipped,” Nicol said.
He also charged importers to employ the services of only accredited freight forwarders in their transactions. “If you meet a credible agent; he will have a functional office and the necessary up-to-date facilities and he will be able to log into the customs website,” the LASSA President said.