Customs Service launches app to simplify validation of importers’ clearance documents

Processing and confirming the validity of documents on declaration/payment and the status of a particular consignment/vehicle by importers and motorists will no longer be delayed following the introduction of Webb Tracker Mobile Application and a simplified standard operating procedure for the use of scanners.

The innovation is being initiated by the Nigeria Customs Service to further facilitate the federal government’s policy on ease of doing business, according to a statement issued by the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Comptroller Joseph O. Attah.

Attah said the mobile app enables any person that has access to the NICIS II to remotely validate relevant documents needed before access could be provided and imported items cleared for evacuation.

“This app, which can be installed in mobile devices (phones, tablets e.t.c), enables the use of the vehicle identification number to upload data concerning the type, make and model of all vehicles at the point of making declaration with a view to assigning value for the payment of appropriate Customs duty”.

The new system, it was said, has not only removed acrimonies associated with enforcement activities on the highways but would robustly facilitate free flow of compliant trade while checking illegal imports.

“The simplified standard operating procedure provides clear guidelines on the usage of scanners at all entry and exit points in Nigeria”, the statement said, adding that once the procedures are followed, importers and motorists would have a hitch-free operation.

The statement said once all containers are pre-scanned and discharged from the vessel, and the declaration, assessment and payment is made by the declarant, and the NICIS II Risk Engine allocates scanned containers to designated image analyst, the importer and motorist have the documents processed and confirmed without delay.

The steps apply to both compliant and non-compliant containers but added that for the latter, a list of suspected containers is daily forwarded to the terminal operator for physical examination on the request of the declarant before the released container is acknowledged to exit through the gate.

The NCS Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), while giving approval for the launch and implementation of these innovative trade facilitation tools, expressed hope that these tools would eliminate encumbrances being currently experienced by international trade actors in Nigeria.

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