Importers face demurrage as seaport e-clearing runs into hitch
Importers have cried out over their inability to clear their goods from the Lagos seaports in the last 12 days, resulting in unexpected demurrage cost.
They lamented the difficulty in processing the electronic payment documents required to clear their goods from the ports.
Recall that the Nigeria Customs Service had created a single-window trade portal linking relevant regulatory agencies to facilitate easy and quick clearing of goods at the ports.
The agencies include the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the Nigerian Ports Authority
Importers, however, said for the past over one week, they had faced difficulties uploading their SON’s Conformity Assessment Programme certification numbers on the Customs trade portal.
The SONCAP number is the prerequisite for accessing the Customs’ Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, an online application designed and used by the Customs for generation of the clearing document.
The commercial bank that issues Form M for the importer also applies for PAAR on behalf of the importer and sends it to the NCS along with the Form M, the final invoice, Combined Certificate of Value and Origin, Transport Document (Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Roadway Bill) and a packing list.