Doyen of maritime business in Nigeria and founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has urged Officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to suspend the use of Form-M, as well as Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), in cargo clearance for a while.
Aniebonam said this in a statement.
The NAGAFF Founder explained that with the declaration of Force- Majure by Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, due to coronavirus pandemic, the use of PAAR and Form-M are not needed in cargo clearance from the ports now.
Speaking further, he advised Customs to make use of ‘Bill of Sight’, as contained in Customs and Exice Management Act (CEMA), sections 27/ 28.
According to him, the ‘Bill of Sight’ will be useful for cargo clearance at present, until the spread of coronavirus is curtailed and Executive Order of government on lock-down lifted for operations to take shape in the ports again.
Dr Aniebonam pointed out, “We are aware that Force Majure has been declared in the port. Also, the regulatory agencies are saying only essential goods should be cleared now.
“Therefore, my advice is for Customs to put aside PAAR, Form-M and any ambiguous procedure, in order to fast track cargo clearance from the ports, because what the country is facing right now is an emergency situation, which calls for immediate action on the part of all concerned”.
He went on, “I am also advising Freight Forwarders under NAGAFF not to risk their lives.
“Their importers are at home with their families. So, they do not have to put their lives in danger.”
He emphasised, “The Presidential Order is straight and unambiguous for everyone to understand. Coronavirus is a global pandemic ravaging even most advanced countries.
“Follow the rules of engagement throughout this period of lock-down.
Stay away from the ports, remain at home, except you have essential goods to clear from the ports”.