Customs explores new tech to check smuggling, promote trade

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has adopted range of new technologies towards tackling smuggling and facilitate trade in Nigerian seaports and land borders.

The latest effort geared towards that is the “Virtual Reality Tech” and the Time Release Study”, which are digital technologies aimed at enhancing operations through digital monitoring.

The Comptroller-General Customs (CGC) Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, emphasised the commitment to boost trade and combat smuggling through advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Unveiling the Time Release Study (TRS) service at a two-day workshop on Virtual Reality Technology (VRT) installation, organised by WCO and Ho Entertainment, Adeniyi described it as an initiative to streamline cargo clearance and boost trade enhancement in Nigeria.

He explained that TRS is a globally acknowledged tool by the World Customs Organisation to facilitate the clearance of goods from arrival until their physical release.

“Today, we are joining other Customs administrations in the world that have embraced the tools developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to promote the growth of international trade.

“The WCO remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing customs procedures through various instruments and tools, such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

“Among these initiatives is the Time Release Study (TRS) developed to provide comprehensive insights into customs operations’ efficiency as the TRS in Nigeria, starting with Tincan Island Port, serving as the pilotocation.

“The TRS method is a systematic and standardised approach used to measure the total duration of time from the arrival of goods at the customs border until their release,” Adeniyi said.

Represented by the Assistant Comptroller-General (ACG) Malanta Yusuf, at the VRT training, the Customs boss commended WCO and CCF Korea for their collaborative gesture.

He underscored Customs’ dedication to technological advancements, including off’cers’ training on radioactive elements to prevent smuggling.

Commandant of NCCSC, Kingsley Egwuh, called for collaboration, expressing optimism that the workshop would enhance customs personnel skills, improve inspection procedures, and curb smuggling.

WCO representative, Professor Baek Sung-Sil, praised the CGC’s commitment to modernising customs activities through technology.

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