Over 5,000 overtime vehicles trapped at Lagos ports as agents seek review of dwell time
Customs agents have raised the alarm that over 5,000 vehicles are trapped at Tin Can Island Port due to the current 28 days period for overtime cargoes and vehicles.
The Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) classifies cargoes as overtime if the importer fails to clear and take delivery of them after 28 days in the port. The law also allows Customs to auction such cargoes after 90 days of arrival at the port.
The clearing agents have called on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the House of Representatives on Customs and Excise to conduct a public hearing to review the 28 days for overtime cargoes and vehicles to 90 days.
The Youth Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Remilekun Sikiru, who disclosed this, said about 3,000 overtime vehicles are trapped at Five Star Logistics Terminal at Tin Can port, while PTML terminal holds about 2,000 vehicles.
Sikiru, who is also the coordinator of Five Star Logistics Terminal at Tin Can Port, said the overtime vehicles are causing a lot of congestion, noting that customs have failed to take them to the designated terminal for overtime for more than three years.
“A lot of vehicles (containers and RoRo) and cargoes were trapped down in various terminals across the port, based on the harsh policies from the government.
“We appeal to the Federal Government to extend the days, 90days is never a bad idea, because the 28 days have caused a lot of difficulties as a result of increments in customs duty, and to run the documents of overtime cargoes sometimes takes two months for processing and cost more,” he said.
Sikiru also lamented that there are cargoes that have paid duty, released and exited from customs, but are still in the terminal for one reason or the other.
He said that these categories of cargo are also being made to go through the process of overtime clearance and this amounts to double losses.