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Customs agents not transparent in duty declaration—Compt. Egbudin


Compt. Willy Egbudin, CAC Apapa Area Command

“We still have discrepancies in
declaration. Most agents are still not transparent in their declarations. If
they make honest declaration, it will make clearance of their cargo fast, save
them from incurring demurrage and help customs to facilitate 48 hour cargo
clearance policy of the government.”

 Comptroller Willy Egbudin, Customs
Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Port Command, made the
statement while addressing officials of the Maritime Reporters Association of
Nigeria (MARAN) who visited him in his office on the state of cargo operations
in the port.
  He maintained that dishonesty
in the declaration by customs agents had been the bane of achieving 48 hours
cargo clearance in the port, assuring port community of the commitment of the
Service toward achieving 48 hours cargo clearance policy if honest declaration
was done by customs agents.
“We will achieve 48 hours if honest
declaration is done by the trade community,” said he.
 The CAC said despite the low cargo
traffic in the port at the beginning of the year, the command still made
impressive performance in its revenue generation drive above the same period in
year 2015.
He said that the command generated a total
sum of N24 billion in January 2016.
“We are not doing badly in revenue
generation, although there is low volume of import,” Egbudin said.
  He assured that more revenue
will be generated by the command as import trade in the country improves,
charging importers to desist from importing prohibited items.
 Answering question on the essence of
pre-arrival assessment report (PAAR) in cargo declaration despite discrepancies
being witnessed by the Service, Egbudin said importers were not being truthful
with the information they provide in the PAAR as this contradicts the final documents
submitted to Customs.
 He said PAAR was designed by the
Service to help trade facilitation, and called on the media to educate members
of trading community to adhere to import guidelines at all times.
  On the state of scanners, the
CAC said only the fixed scanner was working, while the mobile one has stopped
working, but assured that the Comptroller General had commenced procedure of
procuring efficient scanners for the Service.
 The CAC said the fixed scanner
working was underutilized, because of low cargo traffic. He also clarified that
tariffs on vehicles were uniform, against opinions that all commands operated
different duty regimes for vehicles.
He advised intending vehicle importers to
visit valuation unit of the Service to get correct duty before embarking on
importation as this would allay any fear of being cheated and possibly make
clearance fast.

Speaking on the asset declaration, Egbudin
said all officers in his command had fully complied with the directive of the
Comptroller General, saying such exercise was not new.  
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