ACFTA: We need clear tariffs directives — Customs

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Customs CG appears before the Senate
Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hamid Ali (retd)

Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it needed clear directives on tariffs on goods covered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

According to the organization, it was awaiting National Action Committee (NAC) on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalized goods under AfCTA.

In addition, it said in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, that it needed the list of the 90% liberalized National Trade Offers; the list of 70% Non-liberalized exclusive goods at the regional level, and the list of 3% Non-Liberalized sensitive goods under the agreement.

The statement issued by the NCS Public Relations Office, DC, Joseph Attah, read in part, “Sequel to the ratification of AfCFTA by member nations, the Nigeria Customs Service has found it pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable it’s smooth and full implementation.

“ Instead of proceeding in a chaotic manner, the Nigeria Customs Service as policy implementor understands the importance of spelling out the roles and responsibilities of all parties in this agreement and the conditions attendant on its implementation.

“We wish to re-confirm our willingness and readiness to play our role as trade facilitators in this regard.

“However, we also wish to remind the public that our functions are highly automated and primarily systems are driven.

“ Hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into our system for easy deployment, access and use by the trading public.

“The appointment of a Competent Authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.”

It said further, “NCS acknowledges the transformational impact this agreement portends for businesses within the continent in general and Nigeria in particular and are fully committed to its success.

“Further, the Service recommends that each member country should have a representative in the continental Chamber of Commerce to ensure transparency within the body thereby generating confidence in the system.

“This is our view should be complementary to the activities of the various Chambers of Commerce of each country in the region.

“While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice.

“ Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country.

“We look with optimism to an era of complete economic integration which will lead to growth and prosperity for businesses within the region.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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