A former National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu has said that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) is not a replacement to the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) but a tool to help the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) get correct and accurate declaration of cargo.
Shittu who made this known in a chat with newsmen in Lagos recently declared “Anything that will add value to clearing, to eradicate illegality in declaration, for me, it is welcome.”
According to him, “In those days, once your invoice is stamped by the Chamber of Commerce of the exporting country, it is a valid document but you know Nigerians will always abuse all those things, when they go out there, they will spoil it.
“In fact, the way it is now, there is no hard and fast guarantee of clearing cargo in the sense that every documentation you do today is suspect no matter how complaint your importer is, you are regarded as suspect. That is why you see multiplicity of checks everywhere including Zone 2 and others, everybody is getting involved.
He however explained that the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in 2012 was not the same as CTN adding that PAAR to him could be regarded as deception “because originally, we agreed the PAAR was supposed to be the final document.”
He continued, “It is a document prepared by customs to say your value is okay, if it is not okay, they uplift it. That is what they do but no matter the level of upliftment now, you are still queried at the port. So, what does PAAR do?
“So, if we have another supporting document from another source that will give the importer the latitude to prove his case, that is why the CTN come in but it is not a replacement to PAAR because PAAR now is advisory. That is what they tell you.”
On the cost implication of the CTN, the former ANLCA boss said,” We shouldn’t even do things by cost. Nigerians we love money, the government is not even helping us. That is why they give all these government agencies targets. The federal government is supposed to give us service. SON is supposed to be a service organization, NAFDAC is supposed to be a service organization but you can’t get anything out of their offices without paying and they tell you it is IGR.”
He informed that Nigeria was the only country in West Africa that was not using CTN as other West African countries were using CTN.
“It is a declaration. You cannot even take goods into America without CTN”, said.
On getting uniform value for homogenous goods, he said, “We have clamoured for this when I was the President. Ghana here started PAAR after us, their own is PAARS, I went there and saw it work. You will see a vehicle, they will put the VIN Number on the platform, it tells you how much duty you are going to pay. So, you come and pay that money and go away instead of being chased all around that your value is low, compromised DN and all that. When are we going to get out of it?
“It is very depressing. Ordinary car, we don’t have uniform value. The duty you pay in Tincan is different from the one you pay in Apapa and different from the one you pay in Port-Harcourt.”
Photo: Former National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu.
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