Worried about the delay suffered by importers and freight forwarders before taking delivery of their goods at the ports as a result of the regime of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) , stakeholders have called for the re-introduction of provisional release for all goods arriving the country.
PAAR is a new cargo clearance system which was introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) as a replacement for Risk Assessment Report (RAR) when the organisation took over Destination Inspection regime from service providers in December 1, 2013.
Since its introduction, the system has suffered some hitches leading to delay in goods clearance at the ports, in what some top officials of the Customs have described as sabotage against the Service.
However, stakeholders who spoke to THISDAY weekend called on the Service to consider as very important the need to reintroduce provisional release pending when the regime of PAAR is perfected.
Importers and freight forwarders who spoke to THISDAY in Lagos argued that provisional release, which the Service introduced shortly after taking over destination inspection should be allowed to run alongside the new scheme as a panacea to check delay in goods delivery at the ports.
The Customs had suspended provisional release of goods in February 14, this year.
A freight forwarder, Chief Leonard Okezie argued that as far as he is concerned, the difference discovered after a provisional release had been granted to an importer can always be reconciled, adding that this way, the Service would have helped in trade facilitation.
Tin Can Island Customs Controller, Mr Jibrin Zakare, who spoke to THISDAY however said that the Service was equal to the task as far as Destination Inspection regime was concerned.
Zakare traced the problem of PAAR in Lagos to sabotage, adding that the Service on taking over DI December last year had to first of all clear the backlog of 99,000 RARs left over by the former service providers.
Zakare who assured stakeholders that most of the problems are being tackled by the management of the Customs, however called on importers and their agents to always submit correct documents that will facilitate in fast processing of their jobs.
He said that any document that has a problem may not be accepted by the system, adding that this was among the challenges the Service has been experiencing.
Zakare hinted that part of the efforts to address the issue of transmission of PAAR would be the introduction of a new platform in the system this week.