Freight forwarders harp on proper documentation for imports, exports
Freight Forward practitioners across the country have been urged to comply with the requirements for proper documentation and description of imports and exports in line with Customs operations.
The Nigerian Customs Service has issued a review of guidelines on import and export procedures expected to become effective from July 11th.
The Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Boniface Aniebonam, who sounded the note of warning to members that in law, wrong description of imports for Customs declaration is in breach of Section 46, 47, and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management 2004 as amended.
The inherent penalty provided in the legislation included but not limited to seizure of goods and prosecution of offenders in a law court and five years imprisonment without an option of fine.
Aniebonam in a statement to The Guardian said it is legitimate and lawful that under destination inspection, the declarant is at liberty to make genuine declaration for Customs purposes, irrespective of the material content of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report as may have been uploaded to the PAAR Unit of the Customs by the consignees.
“The point herein contained is to advise practitioners to ask questions with a view to obtaining the actual content of laden containers from the importers/exporters before making declaration in the single entry document of the Customs.
“In some of our interaction with the Customs administration, we did discover that the service is highly disturbed at the moment over the non-compliant attitude of practitioners. Aside from the inherent revenue risks and delays associated with clearing goods out of Customs control, the Comptroller General of Customs is not happy that practitioners are messing up Customs systems reliability and integrity”.
“It is therefore very necessary that we must build up integrity in our operations and conduct as professionals. This development as it were, if
not stopped, is a breach of the new order of encouraging ease of doing business in the Customs ports and border locations,” he said.