The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) on Tuesday told the Federal Government to abolish the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) policy on imports to reduce port charges.
The President of NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, made the plea in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Lagos.
Amiwero had sent a similar letter to the secretary to the government of the federation, minister of finance, minister of transport and the comptroller-general of customs.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, had said that CTN would checkmate under-declaration and would also bring out trade information.
Bello said the CTN would create room for efficiency and add value to port operation.
Amiwero condemned the re-introduction of the CTN, adding that it would negatively impact on the nation’s economy.
He said the task before the Federal Government should be how to reduce port charges in order to make Nigerian ports competitive.
Amiwero said the CTN was abolished in November 2011, noting that the cancellation was authorised by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The customs agent said the notice of CTN charges given to shipping lines and consignees dated November 2015 was a duplication of the process of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) Form ‘M’ requirement.
According to him, the recent re-introduction of the CTN on imports requires an existing legislation by the agency involved to carry out the implementation with regards to charges and international process.
He said this was, however, not contained in the status that established the agency.
The NSC is over-seeing the implementation of the CTN.
He noted that the risk assessment system by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) through the PAAR, was good enough to monitor cargoes coming into the country and that this process needed not to be duplicated.
“The Advanced Cargo Information (ACI) is pre-arrival or advance information process and more or less a security tool covered under the World Customs Organisation to secure and facilitate global trade.
“Advanced cargo information or advance electronic information is a customs security control process,'' he said.
He said the multiplicity of costs of imports and exports had negative impact on locally-manufactured products and Foreign Direct Investments.
The NCMDLCA president said the multiple costs had led to high costs of cargo clearance which had made Nigerian ports unattractive.
He urged government to set up a committee of experts to look into various charges on import trade in order to drop such charges.
The freight forwarder said the charges included those that were duplicated, those not backed by law and not tied to services.