Customs absolves self from meddling with 1% CISS charge


… Says only Finance Minister can decide its fate

The Nigeria Customs Service has said that only the Minister of Finance could determine what use the 1% Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) which hitherto was paid to the service providers under the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) regime would be put to.

Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs (DCG) Akin Adewuyi made this know while fielding questions from journalists at a press briefing to mark the end of the weeklong familiarization visit of the Comptroller-General of Customs to Customs formations in Lagos on Friday.

Adewuyi who acknowledged that while the service still collects the 1% CISS charge in all the ports, it had not been able to access the fund since it was paid into the Federation Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to him,” 1% CISS is an administrative charge. It used to be given to the service providers when we were in the Destination Inspection Scheme but we are now using the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report.

“We still collect the charge but the Nigeria Customs has not been able to access it. It is paid into the Federation Account. It is the Minister of Finance that can now talk on that one but mandatorily, we are still collecting it”.

On the list of prohibited items, DCG Adewuyi maintained that it was not within the confines of the Nigeria Customs Service to determine what item should be on the list and which item should not adding that issues relating to prohibition list, fiscal policies were handled at the level of the Tariff technical Committee which was domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“So, it has to do with the protection of the market for the local industries. There are certain products that government believed should not come to the country for now because there is the need to protect the market for the indigenous manufacturers”, he said.

He recalled that Nigeria was operating the Common External Tariff (CET) which was a trade instrument that allow products move freely within the West African sub-region adding that the Nigeria’s import prohibition list was not applicable to ECOWAS member states as according to him, ECOWAS members operated a trade liberalization scheme.

He said,” The ECOWAS members want to improve economic relationship between members states to create jobs and to make sure that we have free market. So, what we have as a prohibition list in Nigeria does not apply to any of the ECOWAS member states. It has prohibition against goods coming from the third world, anything coming from the outside of the ECOWAS region, that is what we have prohibition list for.

“And naturally, I don’t subscribe to prohibition being indefinite. According to WTO, you know they believe in trade liberalization, that we should open our market but we should take note that Nigeria is still a developing economy; we don’t want to create a situation whereby people will start bringing in fake and substandard goods to come and flood our market with. That is why the government believed that for now, some goods will continue to be on prohibition list against trade that is from the third countries in order to achieve our own practice so as to be able to develop”.

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