Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Port Command, Lagos, says is hopeful of collecting higher revenue in 2021 than 2020 without over-taxing or over-charging importers.
The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf stated this when the executive of the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers visited him in his office during the week.
Comptroller Yusuf explained that all he wants from importers and their customs agents is a clean and honest declaration. He advised importers who are used to fraudulent practices to be ready to change and warned that it would not be business as usual.
“I want to ensure that revenue here will be more than what has been achieved before. But I will not collect more than what it should be. All I ask is a true declaration of what is in the container,” he said.
He said that he had held a stakeholders’ meeting of importers, shipping companies and customs agents and made it very clear on the need for cargo owners and their agents, to be honest in their declarations.
Responding to the question of multiple alerts being complained about by importers and their agents, The Controller said honest importers who have obeyed trade regulations and made correct declarations have nothing to fear as far as alerts were concerned.
“If you are clean, you don’t fear alerts, but if you fear alerts, it means you have something you have done wrong,” he said.
He said that Apapa Command does not have issues of multiple alerts and disclosed that the command had created an Error Resolution Seat where all complaints by importers would be addressed.
According to him, the Error Resolution Unit was a one-stop-shop where agents who have issues are attended to. He explained that the Seat has Heads of other Units in the system to make it easier to resolve all issues in good time.
He also added that the Unit handles issues virtually to avoid problems associated with physical contact.
He advised importers who have any issue that has to do with their goods in the ports or those not satisfied with the DN given to them to approach the Seat for resolution.