Nigerian importers to start clearing goods from Cotonou Ports – Customs

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Nigerian importers who have plans of importing their goods through Cotonou Ports in Benin Republic will be free to do so legally henceforth. The decision to set up a clearing point for Nigeria-bound goods was one of the highlights of the two-day working visit of the Director-General of Customs Service of Benin Republic, Mr. Alain Kinkati, as contained in a Communique issued at the end of the meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, explained that the details of the framework are being worked out. Under the arrangement, Nigeria-bound goods would be assessed and appropriate duties paid in the originating country with such duties credited to the Nigerian government, through the Nigerian Customs Service.

Adeniyi described the framework as a great progress in the sub-regional integration and trade facilitation efforts in collaboration with their counterparts from neighboring Benin Republic. He added that he had “substantially reduced barriers around trade corridors as the number of checkpoints have been significantly reduced, “working with the police authorities, with a pledge to reduce them to the minimum possible.”

The Acting Customs boss also announced that plans are at the final stages of aligning its Information Technology (IT) system with that of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in order to curb smuggling of vehicles into the country. Similarly, the Customs boss said that his administration is “harmonising the list of prohibited items with Benin Republic,” to advance the security function of the organisation.

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