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Customs inaugurates C&TDRC to resolve tariff disputes

As part of efforts to sustain smooth business relations across all its formations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has set up Complaints & Trade Dispute Resolution Committee (C&TDRC) at its various formations to track and resolve issues arising from the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET).
At the beginning of the CET regime at the various commands in Lagos, registered agents and importers had experienced challenges while trying to capture their declarations at the Direct Trader Input (DTI) cafes and assessing the Customs’ online portal.
This scenario, according to the Public Relations Officer of the Tin Can Island Port Command, Chris Osunkwo, led to the creation of the new C&TDRC unit.
Key in the terms and references of the new committee is to work towards the resolution of differences in the tariff which would see some importers paying more on certain goods while others pay less.
He said with the inauguration of the committee, the agents will no longer have to visit Customs headquarters to lodge their complaints, which has been the practice prior to the setting up of the committee.
He said “For example, in the old CET, you could have an item there at 5 percent and in the new one goes for 10 percent but you have been given a PAAR for 5 percent. While at the DTI cafe to capture your declaration, the system will not take that and before now what most of the agents do is to head to Abuja; but with the committee set up at the various commands, they no longer need to go there.
“The committee will look at the complaints and manually they will harmonize it and create room for you to pay at 10 percent and we’ll let you go. If formerly an item was 10 percent and is now 5 percent, we’ll also do the same instead of the cargo accruing demurrage at the port,” he said.
While advising importers and agents to take advantage of the committee to resolve all pending and fresh disputes that may arise from the CET and other related issues, Osunkwo noted that every change in policy will always have initial teething problems.
Some of the agents who spoke to Daily Champion Maritime expressed happiness on the wisdom of the NCS to introduce the Committee, saying it will go a long way in reducing frictions in clearing business.

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