Abdullahi Musa ,Customs Area Controller of Tin Can Island Port,Nigeria Customs Service ,has stated that only port users and operators who are compliant with rules can benefit from government’s Ease of Doing Business policy in the maritime industry.
This he disclosed during a chat with newsmen after an unscheduled assessment visit to the command’s operational areas by the Public Relations Unit of the service.
Musa told the visiting team and journalists that customs operations are guided by international regulations from bodies like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO)
He said the service has always been committed to reducing cost of doing business and according privileges to traders that have been viewed to be compliant over the years with due benefits of Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) that can be extended to such traders across the West African sub region.
Tin Can Customs , according to him, has also intensified efforts at blocking areas of revenue leakages like stuffing undeclared goods into imported buses with dutiable items for which they don’t want to pay government duty. He said there has been some level of resistance but customs will not compromise .
”A ship comes to the port with 2000 units of vehicles and 1000 of them are buses stuffed with goods for which the importers and agents don’t want to pay. This is one area of revenue leakage we have blocked.
“The resistance we are getting were expected but I can say that importers and agents are getting used to the reality that duty must be paid for goods imported into the country.
”Our Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is a risk assessment process strictly based on documents and information submitted. If you decide to adjust your entries and customs at the point of examination confirms that your declaration is not in line with what is contained in your import,we then rely on final invoice
”Ease of Doing Business policy of government is an incentive for compliant traders to facilitate trade and not to facilitate fraud. People who make false declaration and wrong entries should not expect to benefit from the incentive”
Sanusi Ahmed Adamu, a Deputy Comptroller in charge of B1 terminal in Tin Can Port said for faster and seamless port operations, customs operatives are divided into 14 groups with each group headed by an Assistant Comptroller.
Adamu said customs is never found wanting in delay of cargoes from exiting the port as it ascertains payments and ensures compliance with rules before release from its control.