Customs Boss, Inde Dikko Abdullahi
The Federal Government has finalised plans to begin a new cargo clearance regime at the nation’s seaports, airports and international borders.
The new regime is called pre arrival assessment report (PAAR) and it will effectively replace the risk assessment report (RAR) presently issued by the three service providers mandated by the Federal Government seven years ago.
The imminent introduction of PAAR is coming on the heels of the end of the seven years contract the federal government signed with three service providers on the destination inspection (DI) scheme by December 31, 2012.
The three service providers, namely SGS Nigeria Scanning Limited, Global Scan Limited and Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, had signed a contract with the federal government for the DI scheme at various airports, seaports and international borders.
The resolve of the federal government to begin the implementation of a new cargo clearance regime by January 1, 2013 was announced by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Inde Dikko Abdullahi, at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos.
The Customs boss, who was accompanied to the forum by the top echelon of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) including Deputy Comptroller Generals (DCGs), Assistant Comptroller-Generals (ACGs) and Comptrollers dropped the hint in one of his responses to some of the issues raised at the interactive session.
According to Abdullahi, the introduction of PAAR after the expiration of the contract of service providers is going to be a once-and-for-all document for clearing of goods in the ports, which will not be contested by anyone in the course of cargo clearance.
In order to educate stakeholders, particularly port users on the new measures, Abdullahi promised to organise sensitisation workshops on the new PAAR early in the New Year.
He disclosed that the series of workshops would also entail what he called the “intensive training and retraining” of all customs licensed agents, on the new clearing procedures, classification of goods and the time-tested valuation of goods processes across the country.
He explained that at the end of the sensitisation workshops, everyone involved in the clearing of cargoes in the nation’s seaports, airports and international borders will be sufficiently acquainted with the efficacy of the processes.