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Customs Agents urge FG to abolish Cargo Tracking Note on imports

The National
Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) on Tuesday
told the Federal Government to abolish the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy on
imports to reduce port charges.

 The President of
NCMDLCA, Mr Lucky Amiwero, made the plea in a letter addressed to President
Muhammadu Buhari, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.
Amiwero had sent a similar letter to the secretary to the government of the
federation, minister of finance, minister of transport and the
comptroller-general of customs.
The Executive
Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello, had said that CTN
would checkmate under-declaration and would also bring out trade information.
Bello said the
CTN would create room for efficiency and add value to port operation.
Amiwero condemned
the re-introduction of the CTN, adding that it would negatively impact on the
nation’s economy.
He said the task
before the Federal Government should be how to reduce port charges in order to
make Nigerian ports competitive.
Amiwero said the
CTN was abolished in November 2011, noting that the cancellation was authorised
by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The customs agent
said the notice of CTN charges given to shipping lines and consignees dated
November 2015 was a duplication of the process of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report
(PAAR) Form ‘M’ requirement.
According to him,
the recent re-introduction of the CTN on imports requires an existing
legislation by the agency involved to carry out the implementation with regards
to charges and international process.
He said this was,
however, not contained in the status that established the agency.
NAN reports that
the NSC is over-seeing the implementation of the CTN.
He noted that the
risk assessment system by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) through the PAAR,
was good enough to monitor cargoes coming into the country and that this
process needed not to be duplicated.
“The Advanced
Cargo Information (ACI) is pre-arrival or advance information process and more
or less a security tool covered under the World Customs Organisation to secure
and facilitate global trade.
“Advanced cargo
information or advance electronic information is a customs security control
process,” he said.
He said the
multiplicity of costs of imports and exports had negative impact on
locally-manufactured products and Foreign Direct Investments.
The NCMDLCA
president said the multiple costs had led to high costs of cargo clearance
which had made Nigerian ports unattractive.
He urged
government to set up a committee of experts to look into various charges on
import trade in order to drop such charges.
The freight
forwarder said the charges included those that were duplicated, those not
backed by law and not tied to services.

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