Automation has eased cargo clearance documentation process- Customs

DC Malanta Yusuf

Deputy Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, who is in charge of the Automated System of Customs Data (ASYCUDA) at the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, says automation has facilitated easy goods clearance documentation process.

In an interview in Lagos on Wednesday, Yusuf said that a number of processing complaints resulted from the incorrect declarations that people made.
 He said that unlike what obtained during the analogue processing system; automation had permanently thinned the crowd at the processing area, except for those with special reasons to be there.
 “Automation is real time. When you look at it, we have come a long way from Bill of Entry , to Single Goods Declarations, to Pre-shipment inspection, to Destination Inspection, where we started our operation with 2.7 ASYCUDA, which is an analogue system.
“When we perfected with that, we’ve gone to ASYCUDA ++, which is more of digital and from there, we have come down to ASYCDA 2.0. With that again, we have digitalised, whereby we can do e-commerce; e-payment, e-manifest, paperless transactions.
“In the whole of customs commands it has eased up the operation, particularly when it comes to the issue of document of processing.
“In those days you see what is called the long room, when you go there, for you to even pass was difficult because more than 100 people would be inside there.
“If you go to long room now you cannot see 10 to 15 people, and all these people are for fast-track or to do error resolution,” he said.
The deputy comptroller added that the command usually treated issues of clearance processing error based on their merits and how they could be best handled.
He said some problems may be from the shipping company, port of origin or the manifest itself or the bill of lading.
While according to him, some could result from data capturing, or from the e-payment or the bank or from documentation itself.
Yusuf established that the customs automation system was best for its clearance processing operations, with the support of honest declaration by the clearing agents or the importers themselves.