The Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali has directed all area commands to ensure strict enforcement of the suspension on the export of all wood products including processed, semi-processed and unprocessed wood, in compliance with the notice of suspension from the Federal Ministry of Environment.
“I am directed by the Comptroller General of Customs to convey the immediate suspension of export of all woods and wood products until further notice,” the directive signed by the Deputy Comptroller General Tariff & Trade, Iya Umar on behalf of the Comptroller General to area commands stated.
The approval for the suspension of wood products may not be unrelated to the low level of compliance of the wood exporters to export only processed wood.
It could be recalled in the past four weeks that the Area Controller, Apapa Area command, Comptroller Egbudin bewailed the upsurge of unprocessed wood exportation during a sensitization workshop for exporters in the command.
He had warned that any who fails to follow the guidelines for wood exports, will have their goods seized pointing out that so far, the command had made seizures of 25 containers of the unprocessed woods in the last four weeks.
Meanwhile, as part of an effort to clear the backlog of consignments which were affected by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forex restriction on 41 items, the customs management has asked importers who had imported their goods before the CBN policy to forward their names to the headquarters through their area commands.
Comptroller Egbudin said the intervention of Customs was to allow CBN approve the Form ‘M’ of the affected importers to that they can be issued with PAAR and subsequently take delivery of their goods.
He said Customs could not track the names of the affected importers on its system because some of them had not made a declaration.
“There are some consignments that had come to the port before the policy was initiated, so we have been directed to collect the names of all the importers and their products and send it to the headquarters to see how they can help them so that they can be issued with PAAR and take delivery of their goods.”
He added that some of the importers had gotten their consignment before the CBN policy, but they cannot clear them because CBN has refused to approve their Form ‘M’. The goods have been in the port and they cannot even clear them.