CLARIFICATIONS ON CHARGES AND LEVIES ON IMPORTED RICE
Sequel to the recent FG’s removal of all Duties and Charges on Imported Rice, the Comptroller General of Customs has directed all Officer and Men to give full effect to the directive.
The Comptroller General’s directive is against the backdrop of persistent complaints from stakeholders on the proper interpretation of the FG’s Fiscal Policy, zero-rating Customs duty on imported rice, as one of the measures to avert food crisis in the country.
For the avoidance of doubt, with effect from 7th May 2008, Rice Imports into Nigeria is free from all duties and charges, including Customs duty, 7% surcharge, Value-Added Tax, and ETLS Levy. This is in compliance with Section 36 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) C45. Laws of the Federation 2004, which stipulates that duty rate applicable to an imported item for Customs Clearance purpose is that prevailing at the time of Lodgment of the Declaration, irrespective of the dates or Form M, Bill of Lading, Risk Assessment Report (RAR) or Arrival of Vessel.
However, all importers are advised to follow proper import procedure through Honest Declaration of all rice imports in our Seaports and Land boarders through out the concession period which ends in November 2008.
Importers experiencing difficulties in Clearance of Rice during this period are advised to contact The Office of the Comptroller General for immediate assistance.
Committee on port decongestion gives progress report.
The Presidential Special Committee on Ports Decongestion is about rounding up the first phase of its assignment of removing overtime and contraband containers from the nations seaports.
This fact was disclosed by the Publicity Sub-Committee Chairman, Chief Chris Orode who stated that modalities for the disposal of all the affected containers are now being considered by the committee of the whole house.
According to Chief Orode, all the affected containers are to be gazetted before an Open Public Biding is conducted simultaneously at all locations where the affected goods are kept.
He however stated that genuine importers with proper clearance documents are still encouraged to come forward and clear their goods as long as the affected goods are still in the Ports.
So far a total of 3364 containers have been transferred from the Western Ports to Ikorodu Lighter Terminal. All the containers are confirmed to have landed at the terminal contrary to reports of diversion in some section of the media. The committee therefore challenge anybody with any information contrary to this position to make them open. Out of the total number of containers at the Ikorodu Terminal, 3021 have been examined while another 68 are empty and one contained diplomatic cargo. In the course of these movements, five containers were found to have been wrongly transferred.
Presently, 193 containers are yet to be positioned for examinations while the remaining 76 could not be opened due to faulty locks.
In the Eastern Ports, no container was moved out of the port because there were no serious constraints of space inside the port. In Warri, a total of 146 containers are involved in the exercise. Out of these, 100 have already been examined by the Customs and the remaining 46 taken care of by the Committee on Decongestion.
In Port Harcourt, there are 103 containers that are affected in these exercise, while at Onne Port, there are 617 containers all of which have been examined. In Calabar Port, 516 containers that are on ground have all been examined.
The Committee wishes to re-ensure all Port users that no stone will be left unturned in its determined bid to decongest the Ports in a manner that is transparent and accountable.
Importers are also advised to take urgent and decisive action to clear their consignment from the Ports, as containers that stay beyond the dwelling time will still be moved to create the needed space in the Ports.
Chief Chris E. Orode FCA, MCILT.
Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee
Grace period for additional goods recently placed on import prohibition under the 2005 fiscal policy measures.
- The attention of all Importers, Manufacturers, Bankers and the general public is hereby drawn to the list of additional goods placed on Import prohibition under the 2005 Fiscal Policy Measures
- In addition to the existing list, the new items placed under Import Prohibition are:
- Bird’s Egg
- Cocoa Butter, Powder and Cakes
- Disinfectants and Germicides
- Sanitary Wares of Plastics
- Greeting Cards
- Facial Tissue Towels and Sanitary articles
- Ladies Footware and Bags (Leather and Plastics)
- CKD Bicycles, Frames, Forks, Rims and Mudguards
- Electric Generator Sound-proof casing
- Hollow Glass Bottles of a capacity exceeding 150 mls (0.15 litres)
- To ensure a smooth transition and implementation of this order, the Federal Government of Nigeria has granted a grace period of 90 days for the clearance of the affected goods from the ports. This grace period which expires on Thursday the 30th of June 2005 is to enable all importers who have opened a “FormM” and must have entered into irrevocable trade agreements BEFORE the ban order to complete documentation and clearance of the goods out of the ports at the prevailing Import Duty Rates by the end of the grace period
- It must however be emphasized that the Grace Period is Strictly for clearance of goods and NOT for opening of fresh Letters of Credit. Importers are hereby warned that no request for clearance of goods for which letters of credits were opened during the grace period would be tolerated. In addition, importers are to note that these goods shall become banned from the date irrespective of when the letters of credit were opened or when trade agreements were reached, and shall be liable to seizure. Therefore, any good affected by the ban not cleared out of Customs control by 30th June 2005, will be seized and forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria
Deputy Comptroller General
(Tariff & Trade)
For: Comptroller-General of Customs
Customs Promotes 6,489 Officers.
- A total of 6,489 Customs Officers and Men have been promoted to higher ranks following the Nigeria Customs Service Board approval of the promotion exercise conducted last year by the Service. Those promoted include 3,095 seniors and 2,394 junior officers
- The promotion exercise was based on the provision of the Scheme of Service which specifies clearly the criteria for promotion of eligible officers. One of the criteria is that of the minimum educational qualification which determines movement within and across the different cadres of the Service
- In this exercise, 79 junior officers who have attained the requisite academic qualifications were elevated from junior cadres to the superintendent cadre; while 16 Professionals from the Medicals, Accounts and Marine Units were advanced to higher ranks, having acquired higher educational qualifications in their chosen professions. 9 others in the Inspectorate cadre are to similarly enjoy lateral transfers to the Superintendent cadre
- Other criteria used in the promotion exercise include availability of establishment vacancies, annual performance evaluation, performance in the Promotion Interview and the Federal Character Principle
- The Comptroller-General congratulate all the beneficiaries of the promotion exercise and charge them to re-dedicate themselves to the success of the on-going Reform Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria
DCG (Corporate Services and Economic Relations)
For: Comptroller-General of Customs
A special operation to be coordinated by Hamman Bello Ahmed has been inaugurated.
- Following the increasing wave of seizures of prohibited goods released from Apapa Ports and the desperate attempts by some unscrupulous Importers to remove large number of containers of contraband from the same port, the Nigeria Customs Service has directed a special operation to restore sanity in the port and ensure strict implementation of Government Fiscal Policies
- The special operation will be coordinated by Hamman Bello Ahmed, the Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Investigation and Inspection, Customs Headquarters, Leading a team of 28 officers
- The term of reference of the team includes:
- Identifying and seizing all containers whose Importation /Exportation contravenes Government Fiscal Policies and frame charges against the importer /exporters of such goods, accordingly
- Enforcing due process in Customs Clearing in accordance with the extant import and export clearance procedure
- Re-establishing proper accounting, legal, warehousing and general enforcement procedure in Apapa Port
- Identifying officers who have served in the port for more than 2 years, or for two or more times in last six years, or those whose continued presence constitute impediments to the implementation of Government’s fiscal policy and reforms agenda
- Identifying Customs Units without proper authorization operating in the ports and reporting them for appropriate sanction
- Submitting weekly report of activities of the team to the Comptroller-General of Customs
- All Importers, Exporters, Customs Agents and other port users are enjoined to cooperate with the team to ensure speedy restoration of sanity and clearance of goods in accordance with laid down rules and procedures
- It must also be emphasized that those who are engaged in legitimate importations have nothing to fear as every effort will be made to ensure that innocent importers do not suffer any undue delay while the operation lasts
JACOB GYANG BUBA
COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF CUSTOMS
23 Banks have been reappointed to collect Customs duty and other charges on behalf of Nigeria Customs Service. Their reappointment follows the designation