Customs agents fault FG over wrong classification with freight forwarders

Dry-bulk-freight-market-The National Council for the Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has petitioned the Federal government over the wrong classification of its members with freight forwarders under the Ministry of Transport.

The council said it ought to be under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, as its members’ activities go beyond mere transportation of goods.

It said freight forwarders, by virtue of the Act establishing the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding, were not supposed to operate in the ports, as custom agents do.

The petition, signed by the council’s president, Lucky Amiwero, posited that freight forwarders are only empowered to arrange the movement of goods within international borders.

He explained that the Minister of Finance, according to the Customs and Excise Management Act 2004, is empowered to regulate activities of licensed Customs agents.

Noting that there was a brewing conflict in the Council of Regulation of Freight Forwarding since 2012, Amiwero said there was confusion over the constitution and powers of the council’s governing board.

He alleged that the council staff had usurped the powers of the apex organ of the board in the absence of a governing council.

Said he: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) addressed the statutory provision of the function of the expired/dissolved board, which cannot be exercised by its staff, who are not members of the council. There is also no provision authorising a minister to act in the absence of a constituted council in the Act.”

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