Leadership (Abuja)

5 January 2013

Nigeria: Customs Suspends PAAR System of Cargo Clearance

The Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS) has suspended the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, (PAAR) assessment system for cargo clearance at the port.

The PAAR system of cargo assessment was to be adopted to replace the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) and was to become operative in the nation's cargo clearance system with effect from January 1, 2013, as the Customs Service planned to take over operation of direct inspection (DI) from concessionaires.

Speaking with our correspondent yesterday, the Service's spokesman, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, said the PAAR was suspended following the Federal Government extension of tenure of the DI concessionaires by six months.

The Comptroller General of Customs, (CGC) Alhaji Dikko Inde Adbullahi, who announced the introduction of PAAR at a meeting with industry stakeholders and top management staff of the service in Lagos recently, had explained that PAAR would be a once-and-for-all document for clearing of goods in the ports, which would not be contested by anyone in the course of cargo clearance.

"The Federal Government has extended the period for DI service providers by six months and we (the Customs Service) have suspended what we wanted to use to replace it. The PAAR was to replace pre-shipment inspection because they were issuing a RAR. So, because of the extension we have suspended what we wanted to do," Adeniyi said.

Three direct inspection (DI) service providers have had their contract terms extended by six months by the federal government following calls by international trade stakeholders on the ministry of finance to allow more time for effective mastering of the systems by the Nigeria Customs Service.

The three DI concessionaires, whose contracts were extended include SGS Ltd at Port Harcourt and Onne ports, Cotecna at Apapa Port and indigenously owned Global Scan Ltd at Tincan Port as a result of the extension, the contract now ends in June 30, 2013.

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