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FG wipes out palletisation from import policy



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Considering barrage of opposition driven by importing community, the Federal Government has relaxed its new cargo import policy on palletisation.

However, government advised all importers to comply with international standards and stacking prescription by the original manufacturers of products.

The policy change which was contained in a statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance, said the decision was to complement the prevailing ease of doing business currently spearheaded by the apex government.

National Daily gathered that government had in its 2017 revised import guidelines, inserted  the palletisation policy, but import stakeholders moved against it complaining that it will among other things build additional costs on imported goods which will boil down to increase in prices of every imported goods in an economy that is import dependent.

The reviewed guideline stated that all containerised cargoes should be loaded neatly in a manner that will promote safety in handling and facilitate speedy examination and clearance at the ports by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

Besides, analysts say the policy will mean more empty spaces in containers’ as goods that ordinarily supposed to be contained in one container will be contained in two or more due the palletisation packaging architecture.

The statement signed by the Director, Home Finance, Olubunmi Siyanbola, on behalf of the Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun, averred that “All container cargoes coming into Nigeria should comply with international standards for packing/stuffing and loading into containers; and specific packing and stacking standards prescribed by the original manufacturer of the product”.

“Dead-pile loading, or loading without pallets of containerised cargoes, is acceptable provided it conforms to the criteria outlined above.

“With the exception of used automobiles and heavy machinery, any loose packed new or used items without manufacturers’ loading and packing prescriptions should be packed in crates or cartons atop pallets accordingly.”

However, the minister warned that “failure to comply with the provisions designed for seamless implementation of the palletisation policy, the Nigerian Customs Service shall invoke sanctions as prescribed in the Addendum to the 2017 revised import guidelines issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance.”

“The grace period given up to March 31, 2018 for exemption from palletisation policy of goods for which Form “M” had already been established prior to the effective date of January 1,2018 for full implementation of the policy, remained in force.

Many of the maritime stakeholders who barred their minds on the reversal welcomed the policy upturn and advised the government to always consult with sector stakeholders before policy decisions are taken to avoid related embarrassment in future.

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