Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Bonniface
Aniebonam has urged the Nigeria Customs Service to suspend the use of Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) and the Form M for cargo clearance from the port.
Aniebonam stated this in Lagos on Friday at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
He said that due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the subsequent Force Majure declared by the Nigerian Ports Authority at the port, there is need for Customs to invoke sections 27 and 28 of the Customs and Exice Management Act (CEMA) which talks about the bill of sight.
Aniebonam said there is need for Customs to relax some of its processes until after the lockdown have been lifted and normalcy returns to the port.
He said “Force Majure have already been declared at the port, the Shippers Council and CRFFN have said that only essential goods should be cleared at the port.
The processes of getting cargoes cleared from the port is ambiguous even when we claim to be online”
“I will advise the Nigeria Customs Service at this time to invoke sections 27 and 28 of the Customs law which talks about the bill of sight, in order words, under this emergency rule, Customs would have to overlook issue of form M, PAAR which is advisory and all other processes”
“They should undertake bill of sight, thereafter after this emergency situation, documentation can be regulated” he said
Aniebonam urged freight forwarders to always follow the rules of engagement at this period of lockdown.
He urged freight forwarders to stay at home except they have essential goods to clear at the Port.
He said the “Presidential directive is very straight and unambigious, Coronavirus is a global issue, and lives are being lost even in most civilised countries”
“I want to advised the freight forwarders under my own chain that you don’t cry more than the berieved, your principals (importers) are at home with their families then why should you put your life at risk” he said