By Babajide Okeowo
In a bid to ensure efficiency and increased productivity, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has established a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the implementation of Advance Ruling.
Advance Ruling is a concept wherein the Customs administration provides a written decision upon request from the importer concerning valuation, tariff classification, or origin of goods before they are imported.
The SOP for the application of Advance Ruling was recently established by the service.
The decision was reached during the 6th Management Meeting of the NCS held on August 23, 2023, a statement by the NCS Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent of Customs Abdullahi Maiwada noted.
The basis for this SOP, he said, lies in Section 24 sub-sections 1-9 of the new NCS Act, 2023, and Article 3 of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
“Advance Ruling is a concept wherein the Customs Administration provides a written decision upon request from the importer concerning valuation, tariff classification, or origin of goods before they are imported.
“This move by the NCS aligns with the principles outlined in the Revised Kyoto Convention of 2006 and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement of 2017.
“Advance Ruling has been proven as a valuable tool for trade facilitation, benefiting both Customs administration and traders. It enhances predictability and certainty in Customs treatment for goods.
“This procedure also promotes cooperation and confidence between Customs and traders, following the guidelines set out by the World Customs Organisation Safe Framework of Standards”, he noted.
He further pointed out that the NCS encourages stakeholders to take advantage of this initiative as the application process will be automated and integrated into the Nigeria Customs Service Trade Portal in line with international best practices.