Nigeria Customs boss demands manifest 7 days before ship arrival

AMJON's Town-hall Meeting: Comptroller Modupeola Adeyanju Aremu, CAC PTML Command (second left), Mrs Julianah Saka of Nigerian Shippers Council and other guest s at the event

Towards achieving 24 hour cargo clearance in the nation’s seaports, the Nigeria Customs Service says advanced cargo manifest must be submitted within 7 days before the arrival of the vessel.
Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) stated this while speaking at a one day townhall meeting organised by journalists under the aegis of Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON).
He said the advance cargo manifest would enable risk management profile and separation on time before ship arrival, saying that the Service had directed that import and export documents be reduced from 14 to 8 just as that of export reduced from 10 to 7.
“In order to achieve greater service delivery at the ports, there was the need to streamline the current import and export guidelines procedures.
“To achieve greater service delivery at our ports the department of home finance of the Federal Ministry of Finance revised Nigeria’s import and export guidelines streamlining the current procedures,” Ali said who was represented by Comptroller Modupeola Adeyanju Aremu, the Customs Area Controller, Ports and Terminal multiservices Limited (PTML) Command.
The new guidelines, according to Ali, would focus on some of the issues causing inefficiency and delay at the ports and impact directly on the operations of officers and men at the ports.
The customs boss maintained that the service is positioned to implement the executive order saying that the impediment to the attainment remains the integrity and compliance of the trading public in ensuring proper documentation and honest declaration.
The service, he said, remains the lead agency in cargo examination at the ports, adding that under the new guidelines, cargo placement notice time for examination required by terminal operators would be reduced from the proposed 24hours to a maximum 12hours.
The revised guideline requires the shipping lines to electronically transit advanced manifest to their consignments to the customs and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as soon as the vessel depart its last port of call, to promote risk management, profiling and cargo placement for examination.
Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary,Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello noted that 24hours port operations is achievable; calling on all government agencies to work as a team.
Bello who was represented Mrs. Juliana Saka from the Compliance and Monitoring Department of the council , called on agencies operating at the port to compliment each other rather than competing.
He stated that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) launched by the council is a guide to all port users adding that the portal would also be integrated with customs formation.
Speaking earlier, the president of AMJON, Mr. Ismail Aniemu said that the programme was intended to bring stakeholders together create a template for the actualisation of the executive order.
He added that the forum was mainly to fathom a way out of the myriad of problems bedevilling the port to make the process a success.

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