Trade Facilitation: Customs enlightens Chinese community on import, export laws

To facilitate trade, the Nigeria Customs Service recently held a sensitization and enlightenment seminar to help the Chinese community in Lagos understand clearly, Nigeria’s import/export trade laws and guidelines.

This came on the request by the Consul General of the Peoples Republic of China, Lagos Consulate, Mr Chao Xiaoliang that the Chinese citizens be trained on the import/export trade laws and guidelines.

On the request, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali(Rtd) approved that the seminar be conducted in order to improve the trade processes and reduce the cost of doing business.

Represented by the Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘A’, ACG Eporwei Charles Edike, Customs conducted the training seminar to educate the Chinese and enhance the already existing bilateral trade agreement between Nigeria and the Republic of China which took place at the Chinese Embassy, Lagos.

Edike, who anchored the training sessions, said the seminar focus on the laws guiding exports and imports was necessitated by unconfirmed reports that Chinese citizens were seen in Nigeria’s forests cutting trees for export, repackaging Nigerian-made products for export and acts of Piracy by the same Chinese.

Edike also noted that besides these, there were cases of misconduct involving the Chinese as well as other nationals in Nigeria, which the CGC was not happy about.

His approval of the training for the Chinese people is to address such developments and let them know the laws.

According to the ACG, “whether these acts by the Chinese are out of ignorance or criminal tendencies, the need to educate them become more important at a time like this when everything is being done to fast-track trade, improve revenue and eliminate delays from the ports. We believe if they do the right thing, the Nigeria and China economies will benefit immensely.”

The Chinese Consul General said that the training was needed to guide Chinese traders who are into export/import business either individually or in partnership with Nigerians to avoid being misled into illegal businesses.

The ACG made detailed presentations, explaining the whole list of items on the Prohibition Trade and Absolute Prohibition lists.
The Import as well as Export Prohibition lists were also x-rayed; followed by questions by several of the Chinese participants who attended the seminar. All the questions and issues raised were addressed by the ACG exhaustively.

In his words “Doing the right things consistently pays and saves such importer a lot of time and cost. Do not be deceived by anybody. The laws are sacrosanct. The guidelines are very clear. If you are not clear, contact the nearest Customs command and you will be guided.”

Addressing the participants, the ACG said that the Nigeria Custom Service in this era is fully committed to implementing government economic policies and enforcing the Laws/Regulations guiding trade.

He re-emphasized that every kobo from revenue would be collected for government. “The Nigeria Customs will not renege on revenue collection. We will collect every kobo that government is entitled to collect from exports and imports.

“We shall not collect more or less. This is why we are here to let you know the laws and processes. There must be no excuses because none will be tolerated, please be guided,” the Zonal coordinator stressed.

Recall that the Service generated N95, 760,763,642.04 in August 2016, which it declared as the highest revenue in 10 years despite Forex difficulty, low imports and general economic meltdown globally.

Edike stated that the figure was made possible because of the reform and restructuring efforts put in place by the CGC, which is being judiciously implemented throughout the Service.

He expressed confidence that more revenue could be generated with greater compliance and cooperation by all stakeholders.

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