Customs Launches Advance Ruling System for Effective Trade Facilitation

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has, in conjunction with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), launched an auspicious scheme aimed at enhancing trade facilitation and creating a more transparent business environment for the Service’s stakeholders in trade space, named Advance Ruling.

Speaking at the venue of launching the project on Thursday, 2nd May 2024, at Envoy Avenue in Abuja, Comptroller-General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi described ‘Advanced Ruling’ as a critical mechanism that allows traders to obtain binding decisions from Customs administrations on the classification, origin, and valuation of goods before importation.

Appreciating the stakeholders and partners for gracing the event, CGC Adeniyi emphasised that the launched project will also serve as a tool for reducing compliance costs and fostering a conducive business environment for traders.

He said, “Today, we shall be taking the first step towards launching the Nigeria Customs Service Advance Ruling, starting with stakeholder engagement.”

The CGC, who recognised the significance of the project, as it aligns with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), also emphasised its relevance in facilitating both domestic and international trade while also promoting Customs compliance.

“According to the WCO and the WTO, Advanced Ruling enhances predictability and transparency in customs procedures, streamlining trade processes and minimising delays, uncertainties, and costs associated with Customs clearance.” CGC Adeniyi added.

Commending President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for laying the ground to enhance the economy of Nigeria and supporting the Service, CGC Adeniyi emphasised that the launch of Advanced Ruling at this time aligns with the policy directive of President Tinubu’s administration to facilitate trade for legitimate traders.

He highlighted, “This is reflected in the Policy Advisory Document of the government, which signifies recent achievements, such as the approval to decongest the ports and make them free and accessible for importers and operators.”

As the Comptroller-General of Customs championed the laying of a foundation for Advance Ruling to enhance trade in Nigeria, he revealed that the Service has made all arrangements to conduct workshops and sensitisation sessions at Customs Area Commands to ensure that all stakeholders are well-informed and prepared to utilise this new mechanism effectively.

He, however, applauded the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and other partners for their unwavering partnership and continued support of achieving a significant milestone in trade facilitation activities under the Nigeria Energy Support Programme.

“It is essential to acknowledge that initiatives like Advanced Ruling necessitate investments in capacity building for both officers and stakeholders. We are committed to leveraging our internal capacity while exploring collaboration opportunities with external partners like GIZ.” He said.

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