The Nigeria port Industryis today bedeviled by Myriad of anti-trade facilitation
elements ranging from impassable port access road, poor electricity supply and
the 100 percent examination of goods by the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS).
The combinations of these elements have made the ease of doing business at the gateways not feasible while cost of doing business has gone up astronomically. It has affected ship turnaround time and put pressure on storage facilities.
Importers are groaning as they continue to incur demurrage because of slow process of inspection by the Nigeria Customs Service.
The Country changed its inspection regime in 2006 from pre-shipment
to destination inspection, necessitating the deploy of scanners in goods examination processes.
In Nigeria, like many other country where destination is in place, it sought among other things to eliminate the importation of unwholesome and improperly labeled products, eliminate the delay in shipping and clearance
of goods from ports, enhance collection of government revenue, through proper application of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on Customs valuation code and to prevent the importation of prohibited products.
Initially, three Companies: Messrs Control Unit Ltd, Global scan and Cotecna showed interest in the provision of pre-shipment services when government first declared intention to shift from pre-shipment in 2006.
Destination inspection required that imported goods be inspected for evaluation and determination of duty payable on them at the port of arrival into the Country.
It replaces the much battered pre- shipment inspection regime which emphasized that goods be inspected at the Country of origin before shipment into Nigeria.
The new regime was operated by Global Scam at Idiroki Seme border, Warri, Calabar ports and Port Harcourt Air and Sea ports.
Although Cotecna installed scanner machines at Tin-Can and Apapa Ports, the equipment was overworked because of the high traffic of cargoes at the ports.
These accounted for the incessant breakdown that often caused delay in cargo clearance at these ports.
In Countries like Ghana where destination inspection is reported to have been successfully implemented, Risk Management System (RMS), and automated approach to assessing risks through the use of advanced technology, which allows the focusing of physical inspection on the high risk shipments and create fast clearing channel for
the honest majority.