Nigeria: NIMASA, Customs Move to Curb Temporary Import Permit Abuse

Lagos — The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have agreed to join forces to check the abuse of Temporary Importation Permit (TIP) to curb loss of accruable revenue from levies to the government.

Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, gave this hint when he visited the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd).

Jamoh said the temporary import permit issue was one of the biggest challenges faced by the maritime sector, stressing that it has denied the federal government huge revenue.

He said: "Those that are benefiting from this temporary importation bring in their own ship and after one year they will take it back to their country and import back with a different name. They do it constantly and this is to the disadvantage of our Nigerian ship owners."

The NIMASA boss said it was in pursuit of such cooperation that a regular meeting of heads of maritime agencies was recently initiated.

He said the essence of the meeting was to identify and speedily tackle challenges faced by operators in the sector without the impediments of official bureaucracy. He invited the NCS comptroller-general to join the heads of maritime agencies meeting.

Responding, the comptroller-general of Customs pledged the commitment of the service to pooling resources with NIMASA to address the TIP issue and other problems in the sector. He said there was a need for both agencies to design a common framework for tackling the issues.

He said: "We should have more identity of the ship beyond the name, as name can be erased and another name used. We must now collectively get some identity of the ship that goes beyond name that should be registered in our records and yours so that if there is recycling of the ship, using that platform, we should be able to identify the ship and be able to apply the law as it is.

"We should create that synergy based on ICT. I request that your IT staff synergise with ours to develop a platform that will create that collaboration, such that everything we record or register will reflect in your own record."

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