Customs agents describe PAAR illegal, seek review
The Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) on cargoes is not backed by any existing law and not recognized for the treatment of Valuation and other Customs Matters and cannot meet up with international valuation process as its component is strange to any law of the land, the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), has said.
President, NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, in a letter to the presidency which was obtained by The Guardian said: “We hereby bring to the attention of the Federal Government to the process of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) that is not procedurally backed by law and its treatment.
“PAAR has no legal relevance with regards to Pre-Assessment procedures and treatment of Import, as such goods are not Pre-Assessed before arrival and not inspected, which requires the select the principle of examination to be conducted with frequent lifting of value in contravention of the Customs and Excise Management (Amendment) Act 20 of 2003.
“We find it expedient to draw the attention of government on our responsibility to conform with international best practice and law of the land, especially as signatory Trade Facilitation Agreement(TFA) The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AFCFTA) and other trade conventions,” he stated.
Amiwero said the only existing law on inspection is the Pre-Shipment of Inspection Act 11 of 1996 that is procedurally covered with Clean Report of Inspection (CRI) on inspection of goods.
“The only law that is binding on the inspection and contains process and procedure for the conduct of inspection is covered under section of the Pre-Shipment Act, which includes the issuance of Clean Report of Finding (CRF) that ascertains the inspection of goods conducted before shipment, which requires minimal inspection,” he stated.
According to him, the PAAR indicates that all formalities as to inspection of quality, quantity and value has been conducted and the report is the final process of payment and collection of good by the importer/ licensed Customs agents, which is still subject to multiple interventions by the service in contravention of World Customs Organisation (WCO) Kyoto Convention of Customs core principle of harmonization and simplification of Customs procedures which Nigeria is a contracting party.
He said: “The pre-shipment act accommodates the payment of one per cent Free on Board (FOB) used for the payment of inspection fees till date.
“Since the inception of Destination Inspection in 2006 till date, the inspection fees is drawn from the Section 3-(1) of the Pre-Shipment Act to service the Inspection scheme, which is still only the law for inspection of import of goods,” he stated.
He therefore stressed the urgent need to review the present PAAR by setting up committee of expert to look at the process, so as to accommodate the realities with present destination inspection operation regime.
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