Customs Set to Implement TRS for Seamless Cargo Clearance and Trade Facilitation.

Customs Set to Implement TRS for Seamless Cargo Clearance and Trade Facilitation.

Kathy Kyari

In an effort to increase trade facilitation and port efficiency, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) introduced on Thursday the Time Release Study (TRS), a strategically important and globally recognized tool.
According to its description, TRS is a methodical approach and standard technique to gauge how long it takes for cargo to be released from Customs and other government facilities.

This was disclosed by Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adeniyi at the World Customs Organization (WCO)-Assisted Time Release Study launch on Thursday in Lagos.

He described TRS as an internationally recognized instrument developed by the World Customs Organization to expedite the clearance procedure of products from the point of arrival till their actual release.

Adeniyi claims that the USAID MARKETS Project carried out a comprehensive TRS in 2010 for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), with a focus on the Apapa Port and Seme Border.

He reported that about twenty broad recommendations surfaced, including the creation of an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, the implementation of a single window system, the acquisition of additional cargo handling equipment, and the repair of port infrastructure, among other things.

Adeniyi went on to say that while a second attempt was made in 2018, it was unsuccessful mainly because the relevant agencies involved did not work together well enough.

“Today’s exercise builds on the lessons learned from both the 2010 and 2018 attempts. We have made significant progress since then, including the implementation of paperless clearance and advancements in our AEO programmers. Provisions under the new Customs Act now speak to the imposition of penalties to deter non-compliance".

“Today, we are joining other Customs Administrations in the world that have embraced the tools developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to promote the growth of international trade.

“The WCO remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing customs procedures through various instruments and tools, such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

“Among these initiatives is the Time Release Study (TRS), developed to provide comprehensive insights into customs operations’ efficiency as the TRS in Nigeria, starting with TINCAN ISLAND Port, serving as the pilot location.

“The TRS method is a systematic and standardised approach used to measure the total duration of time from the arrival of goods at the customs border until their release,” Adeniyi said.

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