…Calls for trade compliance
The leadership of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has drawn the attention of all freight forwarders and NAGAFF members in particular to the emergence and operations of the new Special Force of the Comptroller General of Customs. named CGC Strike-Force.
It is on record that before this time, the CGC compliance team as an adhoc intervention force was charged with the responsibility, amongst others, to ensure due compliance to import and export regulations on matters of Customs formalities.
Having achieved the objective of creating a high level of awareness as to the need to be compliant to import and export regulations, the CGC had since disbanded the compliance team.
According to a statement issued in Lagos Tuesday by the Head Special Duties, NAGAFF Headquarters, Rev. Emmanuel Agubanze, the Strike-Force was now charged with a higher scope of responsibilities to nip in the bud any intention to cheat on Government revenue and importation of banned goods.
Agubanze disclosed that the Strike-Force had setup a forensic audit of the Nigeria Customs Service at Warehouse Road Apapa to view transactions in the Customs ports portals and approved border station.
“The implication is that wherein you may be making untrue declaration for Customs purposes, the strike-force is viewing your activities and operations without you knowing that you are being monitored.
“The Strike-Force is therefore mandated to interdict fraudulent activities before or after the transaction has been completed. The top management officer of the Service did explain that the Strike-Force can only treat reasonable intelligence information received through electronic medium, Customs Intelligence Unit and even from other reliable Customs information sources”, he said.
He however informed that the Strike-force was not authorized to mount road blocks or remain in a particular point more than 24 hours as a striking force adding that theirs were to interdict smuggling activities and return back to their base immediately even as he said that the force also has the oversight powers to pick any suspected cargo in the course of their anti smuggling duty.
While saying that the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam was mandated to cross check the scope of operation of the strike force by the Comptroller General of Customs for the knowledge and information of practitioners and NAGAFF members in particular, he added that the way forward was for all stakeholders and agents of the Government to be compliant to the rules and regulations guiding international trade.
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