Nigeria Custom
Wednesday,21st August, 2019. 3:45:47am

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has released fresh guidelines for the implementation of its fast track clearance of goods, a move to facilitate smooth clearance of goods for some categories of importers to check hitches caused by the congestion at the seaports. Fast track clearance introduced but the management of the service for some big time importers especially multinational and institutional importers, which have good track record of not being involved in any sharp or criminal practice and whose consignments can enjoy some procedural waivers in the process of clearance of their consignments to check delay.

Under the policy, importers that met the conditions would be allowed to take delivery of their goods to their various warehouses or bonded terminals with the aid of Customs escort, where they would be examined in at one-stop desk comprising of the Customs and other relevant security agencies after which the importer pays the duty. A circular signed on behalf of the comptroller-general of Customs, Mr. Jacob Bubba by Mr. Samuel Ogundeji, deputy comptroller-general in charge of trade and tariff, said all small importers that do not have private bonded terminals must produce a bank bond of N20 million issued by one of the import duty collecting banks. Other conditions for such small importer who are expected to direct their applications to Customs Area Controller (CAC) must provide records showing that they had imported not less than 50 containers per annum in the last three years. Such applicants must also provide evidence that they had paid all import duties and other charges on all previous imports, which must have been issued with the Clean Report of Inspection (CRI). The service had for the purpose of the implementation of the fast track scheme categorized all importers into two major categories, comprising those that have private bonded terminals and other registered importers without private bonded terminals.

The first category, which is made up of multinationals and other institutional importers are expected to enclose in their applications for the scheme, items like the bill of laden and way bill, Form ‘M” and the CRI, where applicable. Importers in the second category are expected to enclose in their applications the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) form, particulars showing duty payment based on the form ‘M” or commercial invoice as well as the CRI, application for goods transfer, application for escort as well as examinations officers in addition to the bill of laden or way bill as the case might be. It would be recalled that as part of measures to check the delay in the clearance of goods at the ports, especially in the face of the worsening congestion, Customs had created a one – stop shop comprising officers of the service as well as other relevant security agencies at the ports. Under the new arrangement, importers are expected to submit their applications and relevant documents before the arrival of the vessel, while the head of the dedicated seat for the fast track cargo must not be below the rank of an assistant comptroller.


OLAJIDE AND ASSOCIATES is a member of BNI and a registered member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute Of Taxation Of Nigeria


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