• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Freight forwarders petition Customs over poor service delivery of bonded terminals

Clearing agents’ meeting with Customs deadlock

The 100 percent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has petitioned the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over poor service delivery of some bonded terminals at Amuwo Odofin Industrial Layout and Okota.

According to them, some bonded terminals do not have sufficient equipment and infrastructure to enable container examination in their premises.

Ibrahim Tanko, national coordinator of the team, said in a petition signed by him and handed over to newsmen in Lagos recently, that freight forwarders and port users including officers of the Nigeria Customs Services serving in these bonded terminals, are suffering to clear their cargoes on a daily basis.

“Our containers are being dropped on flooded grounds for examination especially when it rains, and we must put on a rain boot to be able to access the terminal. This has led to some of the examined container contents being damaged, most especially those in cartons, thereby creating problems between freight forwarders, and their clients (importers),” the petition letter reads.

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According to Tanko, these bonded terminals do not have forklifts to drop containers for Customs examination, and in most cases, it takes weeks to drop containers for examination, thereby increasing the demurrages to be paid by importers to shipping companies.

Tanko however, told newsmen that the Compliance Team has perfected plans to draw the attention of the Customs Area Controllers in charge of the bounded terminals to either ensure their compliance to quality service delivery or revocation of their operating licenses.

Citing Unity Bonded Terminal as an example, Tanko said the team has evidence in pictures and videos, where containers are being dropped for examination on flooded ground.

On the sideline of the event, a 20-man operational compliance team was inaugurated and charged to ensure full compliance to laws guiding trade and the sanitisation of the port corridors.