Customs agents get two weeks’ ultimatum to register with CRFFN

29 February 2016, Lagos – Due to the controversies rocking the Maritime sector over who will register freight forwarders between Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has directed that all practitioners should go back and register with CRFFN within two weeks or lose their licences.

Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport

Mr. Amaechi

The minister gave the directive during a two-day conference on Improved Ports Efficiency in Nigeria organised by the Maritime Correspondents’ Organisation of Nigeria (MARCON) in Lagos.

He also clarified that it was not the responsibility of the NCS to register customs brokers, adding that such move was tantamount to breaking of law.

Ameachi further instructed the various freight forwarding associations to as a matter of urgency resolve their differences with CRFFN or risk being proscribed.

“The ministry of transportation and the Customs Comptroller General have both agreed to meet, and I may be forced to instruct the CRFFN to commence fresh registration of practitioners,” he said.

He further disclosed that at his meeting with the Comptroller General of Customs the both agreed that a fresh registration of all customs agents and the requirement will be to go and register with CRFFN before they can become customs agent.

“Myself and the CGC have agreed to meet and all I will tell him is to go and announce to customs agents to go and start fresh registration because they must comply to the law, “he said.

Earlier in his keynote address, the minister had said that the maritime sector was largely private sector driven with government providing the appropriate policy and regulatory framework.

Amaechi stated the ministry’s commitment to partner with the National Assembly to ensure that the four sectoral bills pending before the upper and lower chambers are passed into law and implemented accordingly.

He added: “the present administration is committed to discourage the long haulage of containers through the highway”

“The gridlock constantly experienced by trucks and motorist going to and from the road to Nigerian ports is unacceptable,”.

“Government is determined to revamp the railway sector to further encourage shippers to utilise the railways in order to avoid the proliferation of privately owned and operated road haulage services which has resulted in the unregulated and chaotic situation on roads that lead to the ports.”

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