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Nigeria takes advance rulings to the next level

05 febrero 2020

In the context of the ever-widening global recognition of the importance of advance rulings for trade facilitation, the Nigeria Customs Service has embarked on the implementation of a national advance ruling programme.  This initiative was launched during a recent national workshop, held from 14 to 17 January 2020 in the Nigerian capital Abuja, within the framework of the EU-funded EU-WCO Programme for HS in Africa, as a follow-up to the diagnostic mission delivered by the Programme in July 2019. 

As it emerged from the discussions during the workshop, Nigeria had already been issuing advance rulings on tariff classification of commodities, in response to requests from economic operators.  It was felt that the Nigeria Customs Service should work towards aligning its existing system on the relevant international standards, in particular, by creating an adequate legal framework, revising some of the existing practices, and updating certain elements of the national tariff classification work infrastructure.

The workshop was attended by Mr. Babani, Assistant Commissioner General, Tariff and Trade and senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, whereby a strong message of management support and commitment was conveyed to the participants.  The meetings were co-facilitated by experts from the WCO and two African countries in which national advance ruling programmes were already up and running – Ethiopia and Liberia.  They shared their experience with Nigerian colleagues and provided their perspective as to how best to get off the ground a modern, well-functioning and user-friendly system of advance rulings.  The Nigeria Customs Service intends to finalise the preparatory work and launch its advance ruling programme in the coming months.

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