21 April 2014

Nigeria: Customs Warns Agents Against False Declaration

Port Harcourt — The Comptroller of Area 2 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Onne, Port Harcourt, Alhaji Muhammed Magaji, has warned licenced clearing and forwarding agents to desist from reducing the prices of their imported goods and comply with directives.

Magaji, who spoke at a stakeholders' forum at Onne, Rivers State, said the warning became necessary because most agents were in the habit of under declaring their goods.

He said the command was given a revenue target of N120bn for the year 2014, stressing that such huge revenue could be realised if agents and importers ensured total compliance in their declaration.

He said that, henceforth, under declaring the value of imported goods would attract the full wrath of the law.

He said: "The Federal Government has given the Nigeria Customs Service a whopping target of N1.2 Trillion for the year 2014. Onne Port Command is given a target of about N120bn. We can only achieve the revenue target through your mutual cooperation by ensuring compliance in your declarations.

"Today, the invention of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which replaced the Risk Assessment Report has gone a long way in facilitating trade. The PAAR has also reduced physical interaction between customs officials, importers and their agents, as most of the deals are done online in the comfort of their offices and homes. The Nigeria Customs Service has also come up with a trade hub which gives the stakeholders in the importation business accessibility to information. It also guided them on the rules and regulations of import tariffs and other requirements."

He stated that Federal Government has approved the extension of the validity of the 2008-2012 common External Tariff with a period of another one year and charged both importers and agents to assist the Command in meeting its target by ensuring compliance in their declaration.

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