The President, Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS), Rev. Jonathan Nicol, yesterday decried the number of queries the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) on cargo attracts from Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Nicol told the News Agency of Nigeria NAN) in Lagos that the shippers expected the Customs to reverse the query system as this action could facilitate cargo clearance within 48 hours.
“PAAR had a teething problem when they started. It was a better idea that the Nigeria Customs Service should do its statutory function.
“So Shippers’ Council supported it from inception, knowing full well that as a family we work together and support one another.
“We felt we needed to give customs the backing we did. I would say by and large, the PAAR regime is working well.
“But with just one exception that they should stop querying their own documents.
“Before you issue PAAR, you should have got all the relevant documents relating to that shipment.
“And whoever is checking the last document, that is, the invoice, should check it properly.
“You can even log on to the internet; you don’t have to be in a hurry to issue out the PAAR when you have suspicion on a particular consignment.
“But the moment you issue that PAAR, it is assumed that what you give out to the importer is a correct document.
That is the professional thing. We believe that queries on PAAR should be minimal,” he said.
According to him, the queries on PAAR should not be more than10 percent of the total PAAR the Customs issues to its clients.
“We are not comfortable with the Customs officials querying their documents and they are still defending that; it is not wrong,” he added.
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.