‘Customs Service Bill Conflicts With Other Legislation in Import, Export Process’

Gilbert Ekwugbe

Customs agents in the country have stated that the report from the Senate on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) bill 2022, do not reflect the objective of trade facilitation process, which is predicated on Trade Facilitation Agreement (FTA). The report, they added, contradicts the World Customs Organization (WCO) Kyoto convention, harmonization and simplification of customs procedures.

National President, National Association of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, the umbrella body of customs agents in the country, Lucky Amiwero stated this in a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The agents in the petition called for the withdrawal of the bill and redrafted to address the shortfalls of the international conventions and treaties.

They said, “Due to the importance of the Customs and Excise Management Act to the economy as an instrument that assists the federal government to formulate proper Trade and fiscal policy direction, the draft bill must be withdrawn, reviewed and redrafted to accommodate the shortfalls of the international conventions, treaties and protocol missing in the draft, which was ratified and domesticated and associated with the present Customs/ Tariff and Excise Acts, the draft bill of 2022, reduces the power of Nigeria Customs Service by almost 40 per cent , which will affect the service performance in future and  global trade. Furthermore, the Nigeria Customs Service is not under the Ministry of Finance   in the draft bill as indicated in paragraph 3.0 (1-5) clause 8-(3)(a) indicate that there is a new Minster of Customs to be appointed by the President.

“The repeal and re-enactment bill 2022 conferred all Function and powers to Nigeria Customs Service which includes: to manage and enforce the provision of the act, and the Customs and Excise law, direct, administer, direct manage and enforce provision of the Act, the Customs and Excise Laws, collect and account for revenue from Customs duties, Excise duties, other taxes, charges, fee and special assessments as may be assigned, administer trade and fiscal policies of the Government as it relate to this Act, promote trade facilitation in line with International Conventions and Agreements as it relate to Customs Administration, carry out all border enforcement  and regulatory activities required by law.”

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