THE CLEARING PROCESS
• Step 1 – THE INGATE OFFICE – The clearing and forwarding Agent takes the Bill of Entry Form and supporting documents (i.e. Commercial Invoices, IDR, Certificate of Origin, Packaging List, etc) to the In-gate Officer, who ensures that the documentation is correct and complete. After which he assigns the document a number, the Progress Number.
• Step 2 – The Collector Long Room (CLR) – The documents are then sent to the CLR who rechecks that documentation is correct and sends them to the Valuation Section.
• Step 3 – The Valuation Officer – This Officer values the goods using the highest of three bases, namely:
1. The Import Duty Report (IDR)
2. The Invoice
3. The System’s Value
• Step 4 – The Bill of Entry Examiner (Checker) – This officer ensures that details in all supporting documents that need to be transferred to the Bill of Entry are indeed transferred: and on the basis of the value checks the correctness of the following calculations:
1. The Duty
2. The Sales Tax
3. 0.5% ECOWAS Levy on goods manufactured outside ECOWAS,
4. The 3% Withholding Income Tax on goods for resale and
5. 30% penalty for non pre-shipment inspection where applicable: And then prepares an
• Step 5 – Back to the CLR – The documents go back to the CLR who accepts and signs the assessment slip.
• Step 6 – BANK – The importer then goes to his/her commercial bank and makes three separate banker’s draft for the duty levied, the ECOWAS levy and 3% withholding income tax.
• Step 7 – Cashier – He then returns to Customs where he pays his duty, ECOWAS levy and withholding income tax at the Cash Office and collects his /her receipt.
• Step 8 – Manifest Striking Section – The Importer then goes to the Manifest Striking Section where the Customs Officer strikes the importer’s consignment off the ship’s manifest
• Step 9 – Principal Collector Out-door – The Principal Collector Out-door scrutinizes the Bill of Entry and then sends it to the Collector Container Section who ensures that post shipment inspection is done and any understated duty paid, before the goods are released.
The importer is free to leave Customs with his/her goods.