With the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recording remarkable results in the first quarter of 2024, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has stated that the Service had consciously taken note of the challenges it faced in the previous quarter and is actively implementing various measures to address them in the future.

CGC Adeniyi made this known on Wednesday, 3 April 2024, while addressing newsmen at the service headquarters in Abuja. 

He revealed the service's plan to introduce geospatial technology alongside utilising satellite imagery and artificial intelligence tools and techniques.

According to him, the efforts aimed at controlling centres to monitor activities along Nigerian borders comprehensively will enable the Service to combat the longstanding issue of smuggling and enhance the NCS's enforcement capabilities to monitor our extensive 4,000 km borders effectively.

He recalled how the Service, under his leadership, launched an extensive Time Release Study (TRS) in the first quarter to identify bottlenecks in the clearance process, enabling the implementation of measures to promote transparency and commitment among key stakeholders and enhance trade facilitation.

The CGC, who applauded the significant support Nigeria Customs Service enjoys from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, as well as the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, reaffirmed NCS's dedication to fostering transparency and addressing the current challenges hindering trade facilitation through the publishing of the TRS report regularly.

"The NCS recently concluded a stakeholder engagement, marking a critical step towards achieving the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) program set to be launched by mid-April. This initiative, endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), recognises businesses involved in international trade that demonstrate strong compliance with customs regulations and security standards," he said.

He expressed confidence that the program will expedite participants' Customs clearance processes, reduce inspections, provide priority treatment, and enhance predictability in Customs procedures while enhancing their credibility and competitiveness in the global market.

The CGC further highlighted the Service's commitment to advancing trade facilitation in Nigeria through the implementation of robust policies aimed at easing businesses for stakeholders, adding that seven beneficiaries, including importers, exporters, logistics companies, customs brokers, and Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs), were selected for the pilot launch.

"The NCS is currently finalising measures to implement Advanced Rulings, set to take effect in the coming months. This mechanism empowers traders to seek clarity and certainty regarding the classification, origin, and valuation of goods before importing them into the country," he said.

He stated, "Essentially, an Advanced Ruling provides a binding decision from customs authorities on specific aspects of a proposed import transaction, offering traders predictability and consistency in customs procedures."


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