20 March 2014, Lagos – The National Council of Managing Director sof Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), has said that if the current crisis rocking the port industry is not attended to, it will lead to massive port congestion.
In a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, the group’s President, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, said that the refusal of the Federal Government to intervene in the crisis caused by the new cargo policy Pre-Assessment Arrival Report (PAAR) has taken its toll on virtually every sub-sector of the industry.
He was of the opinion that the development will impact negatively on the economy such that inflation may be inevitable if the situation is not brought under control.
According to Amiwero, PAAR is supposed to be issued before the arrival of the goods, as against the current situation whereby cargoes are delivered weeks and months after arrival.
Part of the letter reads, “We hereby bring to the attention of the Federal government of Nigeria the challenges associated with the issuance of the Pre-Assessment Arrival Report (PAAR) by the Nigeria Customs Service.
“The attention of government became necessary due to the negative impact the procedure has generated in the clearance process since its inception.
“We felt deeply concerned especially as professionals and Trade procedure expert that has been involved in the setting up Trade Facilitation measures in the economy through our professional involvement over the years as member of some Committees:
“The Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is supposed to be issued before the arrival of the goods, as against the weeks and months that it was issued after the arrival of the goods at the port, which negates the objective of the establishment of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) regime and drastically slow down the activities of clearance that necessitates the build ups and tension at the ports.
“The process of the issuance of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is associated with delays that has resulted in the payment of huge demurrage to Shipping Companies and rent to Terminal Operators by the importers/Agents.
It negates the concept of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) as it takes months, weeks as reflected in the schedules attached. “The economic impact is high cost of clearance and delays, which will eventually lead to possible closure of most factories due to inability to access the available stocks from the Ports.
“Most goods that are in the port have no Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to clear them, a development that has led to huge demurrage and rent being accumulated and the fact that there is no respite in sight from government making importers look for alternative through diversion of cargoes to neighbouring West African country.
– Godwin Oritse, Vanguard