WCO’s WACAM Project supports Nigeria Customs Service and Stakeholders in the preparation of the Time Release Study (TRS)

31 August 2018

As part of its work on stakeholder engagement and measuring the performance of the protagonists involved, the Nigeria Customs Service sought support from the WCO, via the WACAM Project funded by the Swedish Government, in carrying out its very first Time Release Study (TRS) following the WCO methodology as outlined in the TRS Guide. This led to the WCO facilitating a five-day TRS Workshop from 16 to 20 July 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. The Workshop, conducted in English, provided TRS training to some 30 Customs managers and representatives of the stakeholders involved in the goods clearance process and enabled them to map out an initial draft of the procedures for releasing and clearing goods arriving at or departing from Apapa Port, one of the most important entrance point in Nigeria. This major Workshop included a presentation of TRS methodology, following the WCO’s Guide, and also gave participants the opportunity to work with the WCO’s TRS software.

In his opening speech to the Workshop, the Comptroller General Mr. Hameed IBRAHIM ALI, stressed the importance of this activity, which will enable his Administration, and all stakeholders involved, to identify procedural bottlenecks affecting all those involved in the release and clearance of goods and, above all, to work together on solutions to facilitate trade and improve the business climate. He further mentioned that the TRS should be consider as a collaborative approach to scientifically measure how long it takes to effect the release of goods out of Customs and Port control. He finally recommended not to use this activity as a platform for blame or finger pointing games among stakeholders.

Carrying out its very first TRS, based on the WCO methodology, will enable Nigeria to comply with the requirements of Article 7.6 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA encourages WTO Members to measure and publish their average release time of goods periodically and in a consistent manner, using tools such as, inter alia, the Time Release Study of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

For more information about this activity or the WCO’s WACAM Project in general, please contact the WCO-Sweden Programme Director, Mr. Richard Chopra (richard.chopra@wcoomd.org).