Advance Ruling: Nigeria Customs Service Adopts Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recently established a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the implementation of Advance Ruling. The decision, according to Customs National Public Relations Officer, CSP Abdulahi Maiwada was reached during the 6th Management Meeting of the NCS held on August 23, 2023.
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.
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.