THE Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) has called on Customs agents to update their cargo declaration in order to perfect the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) system.
The Deputy Comptroller of the Command, Mr Mananta Yusuf, told newsmen in Lagos that perfecting the declaration was necessary to process the Pre-arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) .
He said that the Comptroller-General of Customs only allowed the use of conditional release for the processing of cargo clearance as a temporary measure.
Yusuf said the measure was meant to ease the bulk of unprocessed PAAR requests for cargo clearance and was not meant to serve as a replacement of the actual process.
â€œThe Comptroller-General of Customs and his management team, designed a procedure which is in tandem with World Customs Organisationâ€™s procedures in terms of trade facilitation, to process cargo based on the form â€˜Mâ€™ and invoice value.
â€œDoing that does not make it a procedure that comes to stay. It is an ad-hoc procedure designed to facilitate trade, particularly with the volume of Form â€˜Mâ€™; the backlog of Form â€˜Mâ€™; 99,000 Form â€˜Mâ€™ left behind by the service providers. But unfortunately, people try to capitalise on it as a window to make it a procedure, but no, that is not the purpose of PAAR.
â€œThe CGC did all these things to make sure that people are taking their cargoes, avoiding demurrage and avoiding congestion within the port. But it is now found out that all the provisional release we did, the PAAR are there in the system; people are not coming to perfect. Let them come and perfect the declaration to clean up the system. You canâ€™t be having a declaration that is not updated.â€
Yusuf said that people could not start applying for PAAR when their cargo was already on ground. He said that PAAR started about three months ago and customs had been attending to the requests.
The customs chief said that with over 850 PAAR processed daily, the service had attended to about 90 per cent of the backlog. He said that people must comply with their declarations to achieve a perfect system to improve trade.
According to him, people have to understand that for you to get it done, you have to do it well. He said that all the service was looking forward to is compliance.