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Customs dislodges council, commences pilot tracking of cargoes

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin Can Island Command, has commenced the pilot phase of tracking movement of containers and cargoes to bonded terminals or bonded warehouses meant to be implanted by Nigerian Shippers Council(NSC). Prior to this, the council had been mandated by the Federal Government to implement Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) at the port in order to curb revenue loopholes and other infractions.

However, NCS declared its intention in 2022 that it would soon embark on tracking containers landing in the port. The Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede, explained that cargo diversion to off dock terminals or bonded warehouses does not occur at the Tin Can command, explaining that cargo tracking was part of the Customs modernisation project which is yet to commence. Also, Oloyede corrected the impression that the automation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation with the code 846 was only taking place at Tin Can Island Port as a pilot phase and had not extend to other commands.

According to him, “there should be a cargo tracking note that can track movement of cargoes, but currently it is in the modernization project which is yet to commence. We are trying to do a pilot phase on transit cargoes with TICT, this involves movement of cargoes from TICT to some bonded terminals. It is ongoing and at real time, we know how the containers are moving along. “Going forward, when we start the modernization project, this is one of the components, at anytime your truck stops, we shall know, and when such truck is diverted, we would know.

There is another Cargo Tracking Note, that one is international, it is already being handled by the Federal Government to track both oil and non-oil cargoes.” Oloyede stressed that the VIN Valuation 846 automation had not been introduced to other commands, noting that Tin Can Island Port was used to pilot the application of the 846 automation to enable Customs deal with the challenges that comes with it before going national. Notwithstanding, he lamented that since the scanners have been provided at the port, terminal operators and freight forwarders were shying away from getting containers scanned because of lack of compliance. Oloyede revealed that the command had decided to procure mobile scanners that would be placed on the quayside to scan containers dropped from the vessels before they are taken to the stacking areas. He noted: “What we intend to do is to buy more mobile scanners and place them at the quayside. As your container is dropped on the truck that will take it to the stacking area, it would be made to go through the mobile scanner at the quayside. This will make compliance level compulsory. ”This is because the mobile machines will be at the quayside where they can be moved from one end of the quayside to the other. If I have two mobile machines, they are enough for me. We just place them side by side on the vessel and your truck we move through them. “The scanning will not be more than five seconds per container. I can scan up to 400 containers a day, even more, without analysis. I will just scan for record purposes but when it is time when the owner of the cargo is ready for the clearance process, that is when the risk management tool will tell me which of those containers I have already scanned and kept their records are going for scanning. This is when we scan and analyse.”

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