A freight forwarder and the Financial Secretary of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Tin-Can chapter, Prince Ifeanyi Emoh, has said the payment of demurrages on imported vehicles is not just the failure of the Nigeria Customs Integrated System (NICIS 2), but other factors contributed to the demurrages paid on vehicles.
Prince Emoh, who said this in an interview with Shipping Position Daily, last week in Lagos, was reacting to a story credited to the Tin-Can chapter chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Prince Segun Oduntan, who had fingered the failure of the NICIS 2 as the reason agents pay heavy demurrage on imported vehicles coming through Five Star Logistics Terminal.
He maintained that although the programme has its own challenge, it is working very well at the Tin-Can ports.
“Presently, NICIS 2 is working very well here in Tin-Can Island in as much as most of these things are coming with their own challenges. The only major challenge that we face now is network challenge since the ASCYUDA is no longer working and this has to do with the general network. When the general network is not working it affects the whole everywhere. The network is mostly from the customs side because their own network is different from NICIS 2 network. The payment of demurrage on vehicles cannot be attributed to the introduction of NICIS alone; a lot of factors are responsible for the delay in the clearance of cargoes”, he argued.
He explained that on the issue of RORO vehicles, the NICIS captures only the vehicle and whatever the vehicle is carrying will be sorted out between the customs and the agent.
“When you come to RORO vehicles particularly, whatever the content is does not have anything to do with the declaration. In NICIS, in respect of vehicles you declare only the vehicles whatever load the vehicle is carrying is what you settle with the customs.
“Customs cannot ask you to go and punch used fridge or television, most of those things are personal things for personal use, so the person can never be asked to go and pay. Whoever that is saying that must have personal reasons, because the NICIS too does not constitute reasons why we pay demurrage on imported vehicles”, he told our reporter.
According to him, another major challenge is the delay in the allocation of terminal which is done with Grimaldi line. “There are lots of reasons they pay demurrage on vehicles, like vehicles on ground one is from the shipping company. Now Grimaldi line has two terminals Tin-Can and Mile 2 so it takes days for them to allocate terminal and with the introduction of NICIS that is where the issue comes up. Unlike before you can get your valuation, capture and pay your duty waiting for the arrival of the vessel but now it is no longer like that. The vessel must arrive, the terminal operators must allocate it to the terminal operator before you can have access to go into the capturing because these are the information you need in the system because there is a column where you have to fill the terminal. If your vehicles is at Mile 2 and you mistakenly filled Tin-Can the officer at Mile 2 who has seen it physically might not see it to release, thereby bringing you back to an amendment or correction from the TS that will take you up to three days to undergo. That is why the little delay comes in that you must wait, if the shipping line is as fast as possible once the vessel arrives, you can stay at the conform of your office, log into the site and fill the form. But because they delay in doing that the issue of demurrage comes in”, he concluded.