IN THE MATTER OF 1% CISS AND THE ARREST OF CONTAINERS WITHIN THE CITY HIGH WAYS BY STANDARDS ORGANISATION OF NIGERIA- MATTERS ARISING

July 24, 2014

 

PRESS RELEASE

IN THE MATTER OF 1% CISS AND THE ARREST OF CONTAINERS WITHIN THE CITY HIGH WAYS BY STANDARDS ORGANISATION OF NIGERIA- MATTERS ARISING

The attention of the Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has been drown to the worries of agents and their principals with regard to payment of 1% ciss since the service providers have been disbanded. It is also a fact that freight agents are worried over the activities of the enforcement agents of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria who often arrest containers cleared out of the custom control being delivered to the owners’ ware-houses.

Whereas our sister association canvassing that the 1% ciss be paid to the agents as a commission because they facilitate the collection of Custom duty from the importers, it is to the knowledge of the Founder that Licensed Customs Agents are not the agents of Customs or the Federal Government of Nigeria. The memorandum and article of Association of corporate bodies licensed by the Nigeria Customs Service is very clear on the subject matter.  Licensed Customs Agents are not agents of the Customs but the importers.  The issue of Service charge or if you like professional charges are to be paid by the importers/exporters to the licensed customs agents/freight agents.

The issue of Commission is a matter to be handled by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) as a regulatory body.  It is most unfortunate that CRFFN is yet to stabilize its administration to tackle its intendment.  The Council has the powers to make regulation to include commission to be paid to the registered freight forwarders for every transaction performed in the port operation and Customs formalities.

As regards the arrest of Container in our city highways by the Enforcement Unit of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), it is most unfortunate that importers are not reasonably compliant to import regulations.  The regulation is mandatory that every import into Nigeria except pharmaceutical products and chemicals must be subjected to SONCAP regime for the purposes of quality assurance and standardization.  It is most unfortunate that since SON and other agencies of the government have been asked to operate from outside the port, the importers deemed it that the rule of engagement has been abrogated.

This notion is wrong and must stop.  Licensed Customs Agents and Freight Forwarders have the duty to educate and inform the importers on the need to ensure and abide by regulations.  However effort is being made by the legal department of NAGAFF to ascertain the authority of SON to arrest containers in our city highways other than visiting the owner’s warehouses in search of offending goods or non conformity imports.  The office of the Founder of NAGAFF is aware that the worries of freight agents are to the fact that additional cost inherent in demurrage and accumulated debit notes are usually refused to be paid by the importers when the goods are finally delivered to their warehouses.

It is the opinion of the Founder of NAGAFF that Son may wish to factor a stakeholders meeting with a view to addressing the operational hiccups and the worries of practitioners to avoid further damage to international trade borne out of additional cost inherent in demurrage on detained trucks etc.

As regards the alleged claim by the Customs to adopt 1% CISS to earned commission to enable their expenses in view of additional responsibility, it is the view of the Founder that Nigeria Customs Service indeed needed additional money to meet their operational cost, staff welfare, salaries and other requirements.  However it is most unfortunate that 1% CISS represented commission paid to private service providers in the past.

The Founder advocates that Nigeria Customs Service cannot be an agent to itself and therefore the going forward is to request from the Government an additional incentive to meet up with their challenges.  It is therefore reasonable that Nigeria Customs Service rather than taking 7% of duty collected should ask for 5% – 7% of the FOB value of imports into Nigeria. Nigeria Customs Service should count on our support in this regard.

In due course the Founder of NAGAFF may make a further statement and clarification on issues bothering on cloning of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) of the Customs risk management process by the importers.  This has become necessary because Section 46 and 47 of CEMA is an extant law.  Having said all these, the need for compliance to import regulation is the road map to success and friendly port operation.

 

PRINCE OBUMS ANENE

Senior Special Assistant/Dep. Nat. President (Seaport)

Founder’s Office, NAGAFF Headquarters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *