02 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigeria Government has given a marching order for the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to commence the screening of operating customs licenses by freight forwarders and customs brokers.
Similarly, it has also directed the Council to commence collection of Practitioners’ Operating Fee (POF) irrespective of the ongoing agitation from practitioners.
The Ministry of Transportation in a statement on Tuesday, signed by its Permanent Secretary’s. Zakari noted that all government agencies and private sector operators at the ports should comply with the directive.
It further stated that in compliance with the Federal Executive Order 1, forthwith nobody will be allowed access to the ports and international boundaries without security gate pass.
The statement said that payment of POF is a requirement for the release and delivery of cargoes from the seaports, airports and land border stations.
It stated that in compliance with section 19(1&2) of the CRFFN act, the Nigeria Customs Service will ensure that all licenses issued or renewed henceforth will first be cleared by CRFFN upon confirming full payment of registration, annual subscription and POF.
The statement said:”Further to the resolutions reached at the stakeholders meeting held on 11th October 2016, the minister hereby informs, the Nigeria Customs Service, All registered Freight Forwarders, all Seaports Terminal Operators, all Airports Cargo Terminal Handlers and the General Public.”
“The CRFFN is hereby authorized to commence the collection of POF from 1st August 2017. ”
It added that the security gate pass will be issued from CRFFN register of freight forwarders and that the customs should ensure compliance with the foregoing too at the international Customs recognized land border stations.
The statement with headline Commencement of Collection of Practitioners Operating Fee By Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding In Nigeria also stated that “The honourable minister of transportation had approved that collection of POF commences from August 1st, 2017, by CRFFN”.
Recall that freight forwarders in the industry are singing discordant tunes over the collection of the controversial fee.