Nwabunike highlights Roles of Customs Broker in Seamless Port Operations at AMJON 2021Conference

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A Customs Broker plays pivotal roles as the middleman in logistics management, as well as physical movement of cargo from the point of origin to the consignee

Nwabunike Anthony Iju, the National President, ANLCA in his Paper Presented at AMJON’s Annual Conference/Awards held at Ikeja November 19, 2021 said a Customs Broker is a professional who has in-depth knowledge of tax policies, shipping regulations and harmonised tariff code system; and he is licensed to carry out inbound and outbound cargo clearance. For instance, in Nigeria a Customs Broker is granted operating license by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

 

ANLCA President who was ably represented at the event by Dr Collins Forinto said Seamless port operation in Nigeria is quite imperative, as maritime is the second largest revenue generating sector for the Federal Government, after oil. For example, billions of naira realised daily for government by Customs come mainly from import/excise duties on consignments handled by Customs Brokers, he added.

 

 

According to him, The Roles of Customs Broker in seamless port operations: A Customs Broker plays pivotal roles as the middleman in logistics management, as well as physical movement of cargo from the point of origin to the consignee’s warehouse, thereby contributing tremendously to seamless cargo clearance and port operations as follows:

 

*He undertakes logistics management at various stages of cargo clearance chain from ports.

*A Customs Broker plays the role of a middleman between the importer and Customs authority to fast track cargo clearance from the seaport, airport and border post.

*The Customs Broker acts an intermediary between the shipper and the shippers’ customer.

*He ensures appropriate classification of goods. This implies making sure that goods are classified according to the harmonised tariff codes.

*The Customs Broker is also responsible for completion of required documentations on behalf of the Importer/Exporter (his client).

*He prepares and transmits goods through entry.

 

*The Customs Brokers carries out the duty of verifying admissibility of goods.

*He gives accurate information and appropriate payments to Customs on behalf of the importer. This involves calculating the fees and duty charged on consignments, to help importer make payments. Note that, to perform this task, the Customs Broker must have a valid license and permit.

*He ensures total compliance with the fiscal policies of government on cargo clearance procedures, in order to prevent unnecessary delays capable of attracting financial fines.

*His roles in seamless port operations include obtaining release of goods from Customs custody.

*He makes provision for moving the goods out of the seaport, airport and border post using trucks, rail services; or by air, depending on the nature of the consignments.

*He monitors the shipments right from the point of origin to the consignee’s warehouse

*Most importantly, he ensures that the goods are delivered at the consignee’s warehouse in good condition without damage.

 

Therefore, he noted that a Customs Broker plays important roles in cargo clearance, which paves the way for revenue collection for optimum economic growth.

 

In that capacity, he needs the skills and expertise in classification of goods, valuation, admissibility requirement, and rates of duty on monetary taxes needed by government as import duties for goods coming into the country. According to ANLCA President, For instance, in U S, which is the world’ largest economy and other advanced countries, a Customs Broker must meet certain requirements by passing appropriate examination before being granted license to operate.

 

He cited how billions of naira were realised daily for government by Customs come mainly from import/excise duties on consignments handled by Customs Brokers with statistics revealed that Customs generated N1.5 trillion in 2020 fiscal year and N1.3 trillion in 2019.  As such, Customs Brokers through payment of import duties contributed significantly to the whopping sums generated by NCS, stressed Nwabunike.

“Customs Brokers operating in non-oil sector play important roles not only in seamless port operations, but in enormous contributions to economic growth and development. For instance, the data obtained from Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), shows that Nigeria’s GDP grew by 5.01% in the second quarter of 2021 economic year; and the non-oil sector where the Customs Brokers operate made significant contributions with a growth rate of 6.74%. Government should recognise the importance and good roles the Customs Brokers are playing in Nigerian Economy, says Nwabunike.


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