Freight Forwarders Decry High Debt Notes By Customs
Freight Forwarders in Lagos have called on the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to curb the indiscriminate issuance of Debit Note (DN) by the compliance team at the Tin-Can Island Customs command.
Speaking with journalists, they said the compliance team created in 2019 ought to arrest infractions in duty payments by importers and clearing agents before they exit the seaport, but have been slamming debt notes on already cleared cargoes.
Chukwu Nwanne, a forwarder said: “The major challenge we have right now is that the compliance team which was established by the Area Controller is strangulating importers, they are not doing what they are created to do. The compliance team is now the one giving DN to clearing agents. Which should we now follow? This is a duplication of duty.”
Ikechukwu Onyeka, another member urged the CGC to address the duplication of duties going on at the Tin-Can Island command of the service. “The operation of the compliance team has been going on since last year. They have taken over the job of the valuation unit.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Customs Command, Uche Ejiesieme, said: “We have at various times advised stakeholders to take advantage of the various channels of Dispute Resolution to ventilate their complaints, instead of resorting to speculations capable of misleading the public on our effort at ensuring facilitation of legitimate trade.
“It is also instructive to reiterate that compliance ought to start from importers and agents to avoid the unfortunate situation of having to compel Customs to apply stringent measures.”