Customs calls for data integration
* Awaits list of 90% liberalised National Trade Offers
(Report by Udeme Clement ):
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has called for methodical integration of all data associated with African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), into its system for easy deployment,
access and use by the trading public.
The National Public Relations Officer of Customs, DC Joseph Attah, made this known through a press statement released to maritime reporters.
According to him, the Service awaits National Action Committee (NAC), on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalised goods under AfCFTA. The list of 90% liberalised National Trade Offers. 7% Non-liberalised exclusive goods at the regional level, 3% Non-Liberalised sensitive goods and appointment of a competent Authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin, as well as registering enterprises, products within the region.
His explanation :
“Sequel to the ratification of AfCFTA by member nations, the Service found it pertinent to inform the public about steps, which must be taken to enable smooth and full implementation.
“Instead of proceeding in a chaotic manner, the Service as policy implementor understands the importance of spelling out the roles and responsibilities of all parties in this agreement and the conditions attendant on its implementation.”
He went on, “We wish to re-confirm our willingness and readiness to play our role as trade facilitators in this regard. However, we also wish to remind the public that our functions are highly automated and primarily systems driven. Hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into our system for easy deployment”.
DC Attah pointed out, “NCS acknowledges the transformational impact this agreement portends for businesses within the continent in general, Nigeria in particular and are fully committed to its success. The Service recommends that each member country should have a representative in the continental Chamber of Commerce to ensure transparency within the body, thereby ensuring confidence in the system.
“This in our view should be complementary to the activities of various Chambers of Commerce of each country in the region.
“While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice. Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country.
“We look with optimism to an era of complete economic integration, which will lead to growth and prosperity for businesses within the region”.