The Federal Governmenthas directed all containerized cargoes coming into Nigeria to be on a pallet to curb increasing importation of illicit goods including arms, into the country.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said the new measure would aid manual examination of consignment while the country awaits the acquisition and installation of functional scanners at the seaports and land borders.
Speaking a sensitization workshop on revised import and export guidelines organised by the Ministry of Finance in Lagos on Thursday, Adeosun asked all stakeholders directly involved in the export and import trade value chains to become acquainted with export and import guidelines to avoid sanction.
She said, “Furthermore, in order to ensure quick clearance of import at the Nigerian ports and borders, the additional responsibilities assigned to the relevant government agencies would be carried out in a well-coordinated and collaborated manner, while the sanctions specified for non-compliance with the provisions of the guidelines would be strictly and impartially applied across board.”
The minister, who was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Home Finance, Olubunmi Siyanbola, reiterated government’s resolve on the installation of scanning machines, saying “government is working relentlessly to quickly put in order the scanning system so as to eliminate manual examination of goods and the associated delays.”
“The plan was for this workshop to take place earlier than today to enable us allow a three-month grace period before full implementation of the guidelines, especially in recognition of the time lag that might be required for the commencement of full implementation of the government policy on mandatory palletization of all containerized cargo imported into Nigeria.
“I wish to announce that the export and import guidelines will be fully implemented with effect from 1/1/2018. However, goods already loaded for shipment to Nigeria prior to this date will not be affected by the palletization policy.
“Let me also say that we have examined all concerns expressed by the trading public regarding the palletization policy of the government. The list of cargoes of goods that may be exempted from palletization, where it is absolutely necessary will be placed on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Nigeria Customs service shortly,” she added.