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Breaking NewsWar on Smuggling:Customs Strike Force to Seize Containers inside the Ports

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…Non Compliance CACs to face Sanctions

By Innocent Orok

Col. Hameed Ali (rtd)

Henceforth the Customs Strike Force has been empowered by the Comptroller General of the Service, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) to be involve in Cargo examinations in the ports and to make seizures inside the ports without hindrance were necessary.

The Management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that the Strike Force, an anti- smuggling unit of the Customs set up by the Comptroller General is in the Ports to examine goods which are not properly examined by the ports resident officers and that the Customs Area Controllers will be held responsible for any non- compliance of the new order.

This new directive was contained in a circular EII/2019/CIRCULAR NUMBER 002, titled “100% Examination of Cargo at the Ports”.

The circular which was issued on the 25th of April 2019 and signed by Deputy Comptroller General A. Chidi, DCG (E,I&I) on behalf of the Comptroller General reads:

“It has been observed that 100% examinations of Cargo at the ports are not done properly by the officers assigned to do so.

“Consequently, the following instructions must be carried out with immediate effect and Area Controllers will personally be held responsible for non compliance.

“Henceforth,every Area Controller must respond accordingly to Strike Force intervention Alerts.

“The Strike Force team has been authorised henceforth to intervene right in the ports .

“Non compliance to this circular will attract severe sanctions ”
The circular concluded.

It could be recalled that the CG has deployed the Strike Force inside the ports in the last three weeks to involve in examination of cargoes.

This has attracted huge cries from agents and their importers who have threaten to down tools in the ports.
But their threat has been heighten by the Customs boss who has officially confirmed the Strike Force present in the ports with this circular.

Our Correspondent who sighted the circular yesterday also heard resident customs officers and agents discussing on the matter.

Resident officers are afraid that their functions have been taken over by the Strike Force, while agents and importers are scared of their faith in the new customs cargoes examination order.

The new order is according to some stakeholders an hindrance to trade facilitation and free flow of trade as championed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO) of which NIGERIA Customs is a signatory.

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