Scanners Disuse Increase clearance Delay Amidst N40b CISS Levy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Scanners Disuse Increase clearance Delay Amidst N40b CISS Levy

Posted: Jun 9, 2015 at 12:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Andrew Airahuobhor –  Lagos


Despite the one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) levy, which has climbed to an estimated N40 billion over the last 18 months, cargo scanners in the ports have continued to deteriorate with no plan in sight for rehabilitation. This has resulted in 100 percent physical examination of cargoes by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The one per cent CISS levy realised from one per cent Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF), value of all imports into the country, was used for the funding of the service providers under the Destination Inspection contract, from which scanners were also maintained. The contract expired in the twilight of 2013, paving way for NCS to take over the Destination Inspection scheme.

An estimated N2.2 billion is collected by the NCS per month depending on the volume of imports at any given time.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had said that it is entitled to collect the one per cent CISS since it is now in charge of the destination inspection scheme in Nigeria. The Service said this is because of the huge cost involved in maintaining a scanner weekly and to get all of them serviceable.

The scanning machines at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos in particular, have packed up since the beginning of the year, and the Tin Can port command of the Customs has resulted to physical examination of all containers. This elicited lamentations from importers and customs agents who said the development has led to delays in the cargo clearance process, and it has added to the cost of clearing of goods at the port.

Public Relations Officer of the Customs Service, Wale Adeniyi confirmed that many of the scanners at the ports, especially at the Tin Can Island Command are bad and not-serviceable. He said Customs have made a request for a new scanner to the appropriate authorities.

He recalled that when the service took over the destination inspection duties from the service providers namely; Global Scan Services Limited, SGS scanning, and Cotecna, the Nigeria Customs Service had raised an alarm that all the scanners were epileptic. “We have some issues with some of the scanners, particularly in Tin Can. Recall that before we took over, we told the nation that some of the scanners we have taken over are in bad shape, either because of old age or because of poor maintenance by the Service Providers”

He said the Service undertook an audit which revealed that some of them are old and are not serviceable. The manufacturers were also asked to carry out another audit and their findings corroborated that of the Service, that those scanners had issues.