Apapa Customs impounds four containers of cigarettes
The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service, have confiscated four containers of imported cigarettes from China, for false declaration and non compliance with extant trade rules.
The cigarettes were declared as millet, ostensibly to evade payment of accurate duty and would have entered the country thereby endangering the lives of unsuspecting consumers. Duty payment for millet is five per cent while for cigarettes is 75 per cent.
Contained in 2x 40 and 2×20 containers, the cigarettes were also discovered not to have dates of manufacture and expiry.
Displaying the seizures before newsmen, the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, said the Command is determined to implement the laws as contained in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
The product was also discovered to be without the required Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), and National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), certification.
Egbudin narrated how the importer and his agent manipulated the Bill of Lading to beat customs process. According to him, while the manifest reads millet; the declaration was cigarette. With this discrepancy the Controller suspect the consignment and asked that an alert be placed on them.
On sensing danger; the agent went to the shipping company; Comets shipping, to manipulate the document with name of a new consignee; new product but with same Pre -Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).
The new manifest changed the consignee’s name from Oriental Int. Transport Ltd to Pullover Nigeria Limited, and from cigarette to millet as the the product.
Cigarette is 10 per cent Duty; 60 per cent levy and five per cent VAT. While millet is 5per cent duty.
According to the Customs; apart from the danger the unregistered product could have caused to consumers; the government could have also lost N196;030,800 if this product had entered the Nigerian market.
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