…Says Document Now Takes 2 Weeks
When the scheme was introduced in by the former Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Inde Dikko in year 2013, the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) was designed to take less than 24 hours to be issued out to importers, but there are controversies currently at the ports as stakeholders have alleged delay in the issuance of the document.
PAAR is a mandatory document required for all imports into Nigeria.
Under the scheme, the importer is expected to submit to the Customs, all documents covering the import for intervention before the arrival of the cargo so that less time is spent in clearing the cargo when it eventually arrives.
Speaking with DAILY TREND exclusively in Lagos, Deputy Chairman Freight Forwarders Trade Group of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mr Las Alli Shobande alleged that the e-document which is expected to take less than 24 hours, now delays for about two weeks.
Though he acknowledged that when the PAAR was introduced six years ago, it has helped stakeholders in cargo clearance until recently when it experienced delays.
Speaking, he said “The issue of the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by Customs has helped, however we still have delays in issuance of PAAR”
“When the scheme started, PAAR was being issued within 24 hours, you can go online and your bank would receive it.However, for some reasons, it is taking much longer these days, it now takes a week, sometimes two weeks”
Also speaking with our correspondent, a Customs licensed agent, Elder Chinedu Agim lamented that the delay being experienced in PAAR issuance has further subjected the document to corrupt practices by Customs officers
However, in a contrary opinion, Coordinator of the Western Zone of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Sir John Oforbike said the delay in PAAR is based on lack of proper documentation by the importer or his agent.
Oforbike said “It depends on your documentation, if you submit incomplete document, you cannot get it right, but if you submit all your required documents, you will get your PAAR immediately”
“So, we should be talking from the part of doing what is right, we should not be talking from the part of somebody who has not submitted a complete document and he got delayed, its a different thing”
“Mind you, there is now 3rd party form M, if customs sees this, they will not issue you PAAR”