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CG of Nigerian Customs, Hameed Ali, addressing officers and men of the Service recently.

Customs adopts WCO idea, introduces AEO in cargo clearance

Poised to sanitise cargo clearance procedure, safety and security of imported goods into the country, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has given an indication that it will adopt Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) in port operations.

AEO is a programme introduced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in conjunction with National Customs Administration to create a balance between trade facilitation and security associated with import and export business across international border.

In his presentation at a one-day sensitization workshop in Apapa earlier this week, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said the new idea is the best way to go in driving ease of doing business and cargo clearance as far as Customs is concerned.

Ali, represented by Deputy Comptroller-General, Strategic Research and Planning, Ms. Patient Iferi said, “We have been talking about the AEO authorized economic operating programme and this is the programme that was introduced by the WCO to encourage our traders who are our stakeholders that is including freight forwarders, brokers, transporters, manufacturers, everybody on the supply chain to try to ensure that there is security and safety in the goods which they import from other countries to this country and if we get everybody on board documented, it encourages trade facilitation”.

According to him, “If Uganda a very small country in terms of population and sizes can celebrate and embrace the AEO, why should Nigeria the giant of Africa not boast of the AEO?”

In his submission, the Customs AEO team leader for Zone ‘A’, Deputy Controller Mark Lina said that the increase in volume of trade between and among countries and the changing trends in supply chain made it imperative for Customs administration to review the role of Customs in international trade to grow facilitation and monitoring of banned items.

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