One of the three government- appointed destination inspection agents, SGS Destination Inspection Services has taken stock of its 2008 performances saying that it issued 20,000 of the all-important Risk Assessment Report (RAR).
The company which is in charge of scanning of consignments that come into the country through Idiroko border in Ogun state, Port Harcourt and Onne seaports in Rivers state as well as Ilorin airport in Kwara state also suggested ways by which the much- expected cargo clearance within 48 hours can be achieved.
Managing director of the company, Mr Nigel Dalchin told journalists over the weekend in Lagos that to achieve faster cargo clearance in the nation’s seaports, the volume of goods that are currently been subjected to physical examination should be reduced while emphasis should be on risk management.
He however disclosed that the option is already receiving attention of the trio of the Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Appraising the usefulness of scanners within the context of destination inspection scheme, the SGS managing director suggested that more consignments should be subjected to scanning, because according to him, at the moment only very limited category of consignments are made to undergo scanning.
“Currently, based on risk assessment, scanning has been limited to medium risk yellow lane cargo, but in future, in the context of meeting the 48-hour cargo clearance objective, it can also be used for the higher risk red lane cargo to assist Nigeria Customs Service to identify which containers or trucks to select for physical examination and where in the containers to look”, he stated.
Speaking more specifically about the company’s operations, Mr Dalchin disclosed that in the outgoing year, between 18 per cent and 20 per cent of the Form “M” that were opened by importers wee rejected by SGS owing to illegibility of information supplied, incomplete documentation by the importers and other sundry inaccuracies. Appraising the company’s operations at Idiroko border, Mr Dalchin disclosed that only 50 trucks have so far been scanned in 2008, a development which he attributed to “non compliance with international truck size in respect of height and width such that the trucks are too large to pass through the scanner”.
The effect of this, he added is that the Nigeria Customs Service has to subject trucks that ought to be scanned to road side physical examination.