The Nigeria Customs Service is set to introduce the Webb Tracker mobile Application and a simplified standard operating procedure for the use of scanners.
According to a statement by the Service, the application would boost the Federal Government’s policy of ease of doing business.
On how the app works, the statement notes thus: the mobile app enables any person that has access to the NICIS II to remotely validate any declaration/payment and more importantly the status of a particular consignment/vehicle. With this innovation, motorists and owners of other imported goods no longer have to wait for a long period of time for field operatives to confirm the validity of their documents before letting them go.
This mobile app which can be installed in mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) enables the use of the vehicle identification number to upload data concerning the type, make and model of all vehicles at the point of making declaration with a view to assigning value for the payment of appropriate Customs duty.
On the road, field operatives using this mobile application will be able to in real-time, validate any Customs declaration using the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the Customs control numbers to ascertain the correct status of vehicles and other containerized goods released or in transit.
This apart from removing acrimonies associated with enforcement activities on the highways will robustly facilitate free flow of compliant trade while checking illegal imports.
The simplified standard operating procedure provides clear guidelines on the usage of scanners at all entry and exit points in Nigeria.
The steps are all containers are Pre-Scanned as soon as they are discharged from vessel, Declaration, Assessment and Payment are made by the declarant, and NICIS II Risk Engine allocates scanned containers to designated Image Analyst.
For Compliant Containers: Compliant Containers are released from Customs Control and the Released Container is acknowledged and exited through the gate.
For Non-Compliant Containers: At the end of each day, a list of suspected containers is forwarded to the terminal operator; the terminal operator positions them for a physical examination on the request of the Declarant; officers on Recheck duty examine the suspected containers; the examination is submitted to the Scanner Manager for further action and released container is acknowledged and exited through the Gate.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) expressed the hope that these tools will eliminate encumbrances being currently experienced by international trade actors in Nigeria. He called on stakeholders to support the Service in its drive to deliver Customs best practices to the nation while giving approval for the launch and implementation of these innovative trade facilitation tools.