Freight forwarders operating at the nation’s seaports are reacting differently to the recent database for imported vehicles that was introduced by the Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Shipping Position Daily recalls that members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at PTML on Thursday last week, convened a town hall meeting involving relevant stakeholders on the ways to resolve the crisis between the service and the clearing agents at the command over what the agents described as fraudulent document been used for computing value payable on imported vehicles.
In a statement signed by the National Public Relations officer of ANLCA; Mr Joe Sanni which was obtained by our correspondent, the association rejected the customs database on the basis that they were not carried along during the decision making.
The statement reads in parts, “In unison, all agents present, in a loud voice, rejected the Customs database, saying that they were not party to it and therefore, it is fraudulent and unacceptable document”
According to Sanni, “D/C Ogbonna representing the CAC, was requested to take the massage back to his command’s Customs Area Comptroller and through him, to the Customs management in Abuja that all the Customs Brokers Associations and Freight Forwarders are rejecting it and demanding for participation in the review of the Ex-factory prices of vehicles, for comprehension, collaboration and implementation”
But in separate chat with our correspondent last week, the PTML chapter chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Mr. George Okafor disagreed with the ANLCA position, saying that this is not the first time the service is coming up with database without consulting practitioners.
He opined that instead of rejecting the database freight forwarders will look at the areas where there are disparities and find a way of resolving it.
“I have never heard about that the agents kicked against the database, all these while when customs have never carried us along in bringing out the database, is it now that we are going to protest. The database has been there, they (Customs) bring it out every year, so challenging it now is somehow; rather what we will do is to look at it, if there are areas of disparities we will now make ammend”.
Okafor maintained that nobody will distort the policy of the government.
“Nobody will distort government’s policy, the recent database if not completely good, while some are not. Some of the values here is higher, unlike before they are the areas we will look at know the way forward”, he concluded.