By Obinna Chima
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday threatened to sanction shipping and airline companies that continue to flout its stipulated guidelines on exports.
It warned that going forward, severe sanctions shall be meted for such breach, listing such sanctions to include the refund of the forex for the value of goods illegally exported as well as post-no-debit on all bank accounts nationwide of any company caught in the act.
The central bank stated this in a circular titled: “Compliance with Export Procedures in Nigeria,” signed by its Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, a copy of which was posted on its website.
It stated: “The CBN has observed with dismay the non-compliance by Shipping and Airline companies to the provisions of the Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/009 dated June 06, 2017, requiring that Bills of Lading/Airway Bill in respect of exports from Nigeria carry the Form NXP number in respect of the underlying cargos.
“Furthermore, the Circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/003 dated October 28, 2019, which mandated electronic processing of Form NXP on the Trade Monitoring System (TRMS) and accessible at www.tradesystem.gov.ns has not been complied with.”
In line with the provisions of the circulars, it directed shipping and airline companies to access the TRMS platform to generate ‘Form NXP’ numbers for capture on the Bill of Lading for export cargoes.
Consequently, it stated that all shipment or export cargoes from Nigeria would with effect from October 6, 2020, be in accordance with the aforementioned procedures.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it shall be a breach of extant regulations for any shipping company or airline company to take on-board any cargo for which Form NXP is not duly completed and approved on the TRMS platform, failing which severe sanctions shall be meted for such breach, such sanctions shall include the refund of the forex value of goods illegally exported as well as post-no-debit on all bank accounts nationwide. Please ensure strict compliance.”
The central bank recently directed banks and other authorised dealers to desist from opening Forms ‘M’ whose payment are routed through a buying company, agent, or other third parties.
In addition, the central bank had announced the introduction of a product price verification mechanism, which is to help prevent overpricing or mispricing of imported goods and services.
It had stated that the move was part of its continued efforts to ensure the prudent use of the scarce foreign exchange resources and eliminate incidences of over-invoicing, transfer pricing, double handling charges, and avoidable costs that are ultimately passed to the average Nigerian consumers.