The recent online import business advertisement by the National Environmental Standards Regulation and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) which called on importers to obtain and rely on its newly created clearance permit for imported products into the country, has been described as inimical to international trade in Nigeria.
A group, Sea Empowerment and Research Centre Limited, in a petition addressed to the Coordinator of the Business Environment Secretariat, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NEPC), Dr. B. Oduwole, stated that the clearance permit as being dished out, has the capacity to further increase documentary processes and procedures in the country’s international trade and security supply chain (ITSSC).
The group said the measure would equally thwart the reasonable achievements recorded via the presidential executive order on the ease of doing business which according to it, the federal government has been faithfully committed to realise.
In a statement release entitled: “Re: How NESREA Clearance Permit Replaces SONCAP,’’ copied to all relevant stake holders including the Vice President, the maritime stakeholders regretted that NESREA’s environment clearance permit has been designed to create unnecessary barriers to trade which are against both agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) as well as the Agreement on Sanitary Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).
The statement signed by director, Research and Development of the group, Dr. Eugene Nweke, maintained that the environmental clearance permit initiative remained a deliberate move to duplicate and take over the standards regulatory functions of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), appealing to the authorities to call NESREA’s officials or whoever placed the online publication to order.
The group therefore stated that under the prevailing scenario, NESREA’s present trade practice portends unnecessary obstacles hence environmental standards regulation has no likeness to import trades/products quality standards regulations.
“First, it is important to understand that the term: ‘Technical Regulations and Standards’ means the international rules applicable to product quality standards used in the trade in goods and the procedures used for accessing conformity with such standards as contained in the agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT),” the group said in the statement.
“The amount shippers spend on account of streamlining documentary shipping procedures at the port is adding up to the high cost of trading in Nigeria.”§
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