Customs Brokers Lament Loss Of N20bn To Substandard Goods
Customs brokers and freight forwarders have said they lost N20bn in the past 10 years to fake and substandard goods imported into Nigeria.
The National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, Tony Nwabunike, said this in Lagos, recently, while making a presentation at a one-day workshop on Facilitating Trade Through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria’s automated services.
He said, “Over time, Customs brokers have been victims of substandard importation by importers who, in some cases, failed to disclose to us the actual content of the consignment or the degree of compliance with extant rules like the SON Conformity Assessment Programme.
“In view of copious challenges faced in our line of business, we have taken it upon ourselves to educate importers on the need for compliance, to safeguard lives and avoid losses emanating from seizures and destruction of fake and substandard goods.
“This task is daunting but we are not relenting because Customs brokers have suffered an estimated cumulative losses amounting to over N20bn in the last 10 years for undertaking to clear goods discovered to be substandard.”
He explained that once goods suspected to be substandard had been seized from a Customs broker, it becomes a huge challenge for the broker to collect the balance of the duty paid on the goods from the owner or importer.
“This is just a mild analogy of the costly price we as professionals are paying to achieve standards and build an enduring economy that will be beneficial to all, “he said.
Nwabunike urged importers to take advantage of the various training on compliance provided by his association and public institutions like SON.
He called on the Nigeria Customs Service to integrate SON into Nigeria Customs Information System as a means to enhance trade and promote ease of doing business at the ports.