The Customs Area Controller in charge of Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Abubakar Bashir, has confirmed that about 2200 containers loaded with exports are currently been detained at the command due to improper documentation by their shippers.
He however declared that the containers that are currently held-up at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) on the orders of the Nigeria Customs Service will not leave the country until the exporters carry out proper documentation on them.
Comptroller Bashir made the declaration on Wednesday in Lagos when the executives of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
He disclosed that Maersk Line had reported a case of 2,000 containers of export trapped at the port while another shipping line (name withheld) also confirmed that another batch of 200 containers were also trapped due to lack of proper documentation.
The Customs top brass confirmed that the consignments were designated for export, but improper documentation has hindered the processes of shipment, even as he added that a private inspection agency has been invited into the matter to advise on the best way out and to free the trapped containers.
While stressing on the need to for shippers to adhere strictly to import and export regulations, he said that the service has met with the concessionaires and shipping companies over the issue.
Throwing more light, he said: “Let me start with the problem we have with export today; one company, and that is Maersk line reported that they have almost 2,000 containers and yesterday when we are in a meeting, another shipping company was talking about 200 containers”
Giving an indication that more containers with similar problem may still be discovered, he added: “You know, we have quite a number of shipping companies here, others have not reported their own figure, but definitely we are looking at about 2,000 containers that are hanging due to lack of proper documentation so far".
“I have already directed the officer in charge of revenue to call the designated agency appointed by the government to issue CCI certificate for the export and see if we can have a parley with some of the exporters, to see if we can give them entry measures to export the items within the scope and compliance. We have already set that in motion and I think we shall be meeting tomorrow”, he hinted.