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Customs seeks reduction on age limit on imported vehicles. —-gets N1.679 trillion revenue target for 2021

Oladimeji Ige

The Nigeria Customs Service is presently, at the National Assembly, pushing for reduction of age limit on imported vehicles into the country.

The Comptroller-General of the Service,  Col Ahmed Ali (Rtd), believed that such move will reduce the numbers of rickety vehicles imported in the country.
Ali made the call yesterday during his defence of the agency’s 2021 budget before the House of Representatives committee on Customs.
The present age limit on imported vehicles into the country is 15 years from the date of manufacture.
It was raised from 10 years to 15 years in 2010.
However, Ali told the law makers that the time was auspicious to lower the age limit to prevent avoidable accidents on Nigerian roads.
He said that such old vehicles move at 200 metres per hour and often  stop on the road, causing unnecessary traffic gridlock and in most cases, accidents.

 The Customs helmsman added that the time had come when only road worthy vehicles are allowed with the required duties paid to the country.

Ali said it was time to reduce the number of used vehicles that were being brought into the country, stressing that the NCS’ consideration was to only have road worthy vehicles coming into the country.

“We hope our automotive industry will work in order to start reducing the number of used vehicles in the country,” he said.

The CGC also decried the activities of smugglers with a penchant for following unapproved routes, adding that the NCS was working with the Republic of Benin to ensure that goods meant for Nigeria followed approved routes.He also said that the NCS would not be able to stop arms smuggling on its own, rather, the service needed the support of all, adding that the NCS decided to be going public on the smugglers it was prosecuting, because the service was accused of not prosecuting smugglers.

“These smugglers are in our community, we must fight them together,” he said.

On the issue of scanners to be installed to curtail the activities of smugglers, Ali disclosed that the Ministry of Finance had purchased three scanners to be deployed to the nation’s borders, in addition to  a pledge by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide more scanners that would be deployed at the nation’s air, sea and land borders.

The CGC said that 135 scanners would be deployed at the nation’s sea, air and land borders, explaining that they may help in eliminating the influx and proliferation of fire arms into the country.

Rep Ibrahim Bukar, (APC-Borno), and a member of the committee, however, disagreed with the CGC on used vehicles, stating that most vehicles brought into Nigeria were not rickety as stated.

He said that may have become rickety because they got bad on the road due to the wear and tear nature of the vehicles.

According to him, not many Nigerians could afford to buy new vehicles, because they were very expensive, so the fairly used vehicles should be allowed to come in after paying the prescribed duty.

Rep Leke Abejide, the chairman of the committee, said that the committee would meet with the CBN Governor, the Minister of Finance and the CGC, to proffer solutions to the issue of scanners, which had been unnecessarily delayed.

He called for the recruitment of more hands into the service, in order to police the nation’s borders, adding that the needed equipment must be procured to enable the NCS do its work diligently.

Abejide lamented the level of insecurity in the country, which he ascribed to the proliferation of fire arms as a result of the porosity of the nation’s borders.

Meanwhile, the House committee has approved the sum of N1.679 trillion as the revenue target for the service in 2021.

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Customs

Freight Forwarders applaud Customs over new VIN valuation

—- as reworked policy comes on stream Friday
Eyewitness reporter
In a rare show of satisfaction and mutual agreement, the highly critical freight forwarders have applauded the Nigeria Customs Service over the new Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy.
The new vehicle valuation, which was first introduced about two months ago, was greeted with uproar from the freight forwarders who described the policy as inhuman and unrealistic due to the high values it placed on vehicles.
This led to the suspension of the system by the customs authority which thereafter reworked and improved the policy by accommodating the observations and grievances of freight forwarders.
At the second stage of the demonstration and sensitization of stakeholders on the new VIN valuation held at the Apapa Customs command Thursday, the freight Forwarders were full of praises for the customs over the improved valuation system which they all agreed has addressed and accommodated their views.
“This is very good. The new VIN valuation system has accommodated all our observations, even though there is room for improvement.
“It has taken care of the savage vehicles and accidented vehicles, which the first VIN didn’t consider”, Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and one of the most critical voices of the system, said.
Earlier, the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, who is the host, enjoined the stakeholders to take full advantage of the automated system which he said would make goods clearance procedure seamless and faster.
While welcoming the stakeholders to the sensitization meeting, Comptroller Yusuf urged them to be compliant with the extant guidelines to enable them to enjoy the benefits of the new system.
He assured them help desk would be created in each of the commands to help resolve the teething problems that are bound to crop up, adding that there would be continuous engagement and improvement on the new valuation policy.
He told the appreciative stakeholders that the VIN valuation policy is irreversible and will be deployed this Friday, May 20th, 2022.
Comptroller Festus Okun, the Customs Area Controller of Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command said the Customs, through the VIN valuation, has imbibed basic principles of taxation which include predictability, neutrality, simplicity, and efficiency.

Comptroller Kunle Oloyede of Tin Can Island Port,  described VIN as a platform for robust gathering of statistical analysis and data for national economic purposes relying on the template of accuracy that will further integrate NCS with other ministries, departments and agencies.

Comptroller Hammi Swomen of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, who sought more cooperation from all stakeholders, stated that sincere declarations without tampering with relevant information contained in Single Goods Declaration or mismatching information will aid in quicker clearance and seamlessness of the VIN system.

Comptroller Anthony Udenze of the Tariff and Trade Department at Customs headquarters urged vehicle importers and their agents to avoid acts that would delay the process of clearing.

He explained that the process of identifying salvage and accident vehicles under the VIN regime would be very transparent as the declarant would be expected to attach photos showing the accidented vehicles.

He further explained that for vehicles to be treated as accidented, the chassis must be affected by the accident not just by removing fenders, bumpers and headlamps.

However, Farinto called for true declaration and compliance on the part of freight forwarders. w2hivh he said will facilitate their clearance of goods and also made the Customs to introduce more changes such as auto release for used vehicles.

Comptroller Yusuf promised that the issue of auto release of used vehicles, which is not yet accommodated in the new system, will be looked into by the Customs High Command.
The new improved VIN valuation policy has therefore addressed most of the major concerns of stakeholders who said they couldn’t wait to start using the system.
The new system has been given a human face as the assessed values are adjudged as fair and the process transparent by the freight forwarders.
It has also considered the two options of salvage vehicles and accidented vehicles.
It is harmonisation and unification of all the hitherto isolated different values at the commands.
According to Comptroller Udenze, the new VIN valuation considers all the variants and series of all vehicles.
The technological system, which is expected to promote trade facilitation, has also been amended to reflect the reduction in the value of vehicles..

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Customs

Freight Forwarders accuse Customs of killing Nigerians over multiple charges.

CGC, Ali
Eyewitness reporter
A section of freight forwarders has accused the Nigeria Customs Service of inflicting pains on Nigerians over the astronomical increase in its duties and tariffs.
The freight forwarders, who spoke against the high cost of products in the market, blamed the consummate passion of the customs to generate maximum revenue on the indiscriminate hike in duties and tariffs.
They claimed that this development has pushed freight charges to as high as  67 percent, resulting in increases in the prices of vehicle spare parts.
In separate interactions with journalists in Lagos, freight forwarders said they used to pay about N600, 000 to clear a 40-foot container loaded with used vehicles’ spare parts, but this had risen to over N1m for the same consignment.
A member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Ugochukwu Nnadi, alleged that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), instead of generating revenue, was inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians with the high cost of clearing the consignment.
“If you had a 40-foot container loaded with used motor parts before now, the surface duty was N600, 000.
“Now, they have given it a benchmark of N1m at surface duty level.
“It is about 60 percent higher than what it used to be on the same goods.
” This is why engine parts are very expensive.
“Before now, you could get a used engine for around N30, 000, but you can’t get any engine now, no matter how small it is, for anything less than N100, 000.
And they are doing these things thinking they are generating revenue, but they don’t know that they are making the people poorer”, he said.
Also speaking, a member of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Akintoye Ojo, said, “The prices of clearing imported car spare parts have gone up.
“The commodities in your container and the value are what determine the duty you pay.
“As a matter of fact, the Customs is increasing their values but they hide under the umbrella of freight charges and also insurance.
“For old spare parts, you can clear for less than N600, 000 before, but there is no spare parts container you can clear for less than N1.5m now”, he said.
Meanwhile, the TinCan Island chapter Chairman of the African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, Geoffrey Nwaosu, explained that importers now loaded vehicles before putting used spare parts just to reduce the cost of clearing their consignments.
“Before now, it is used to be between N600, 000 for surface duty, but it is no longer like that for spare parts.
“Now, you must pay a surface duty of between N3 million and above for a 40-foot container.
“You can still pay this and still be battling with alerts since it is coming with Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).
“But it is in two ways. You can load a car or two in the same container.
” They do this to avoid going to access foreign exchange for PAAR.
” So, they will add one or two vehicles and clear the cars and the spare parts,” he added.
Charles Nwarienne, a clearing agent, said: “You see, before now,  it depended on different items.
“There were ones you would pay a surface duty N600, 000. Later, they adjusted the surface duty to N800, 000.
“We noticed the increment after the protest. The general cargo has started and it is part of the reason why we protested.”
In the same vein, the introduction of the vehicles identification number (VIN) valuation policy and the controversial 15 percent NAC levy, have combined to push the duties on clearance of vehicles to an all-time high.
This has resulted in an astronomical increase in the prices of vehicles in the market.

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Customs

Exclusive! Mass retirement hits Customs as 549 officers bow out of service in 2023

CGC, Ali

 

Break down; DCG( I), ACG (6),Comptrollers(30), DC(68) AC (110),CSC(133),SC (52),DSC(79) ,ASC1(58) ,ASC11(11),CA1(1)

Eyewitness reporter

A whirlwind  of retirement has hit the Nigeria Customs Service as 549 officers of different cadres have been penciled down for statutory retirement in 2023,

In a circular no HRD/2022/13 sighted by our reporter, the breakdown of the affected officers shows that 1 DCG, 6 ACG, 30 Comptrollers, 68 Deputy Comptrollers, 110 Assistant Comptrollers, 133 Chief Superintendent of Customs, 52 Superintendent of Customs, 79 Deputy Superintendents, 58 Assistant Superintendent of Customs1, 11 Assistant Superintendent of CustomsII and 1 Customs AssistantI, were due for retirement in 2023.

According to the circular dated May 10th, 2022 with reference number NCS/ADM/EST/098/S.1 and signed by OM Agbara, Comptroller of Establishment for AG. Deputy Comptroller-General (HDR), the affected officers, who are being shipped out of the service on account of age or number of years in the service, are advised to proceed on three months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of their retirement.

The circular titled list of Officers/men for statutory retirement in the year 2023” reads

”I am directed to forward the attached list on the above subject matter as pre-retirement notice to all affected officers.
” ln accordance with the Public service Rule (PSR) No. 100238 and Federal Government circular No.63216/S.i/X/T; CR 1,/2OO1/5 of 2O/O3/2OOl, all affected officers due for retirement in 2023 are to disengage from the active service and proceed on three (3)months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of retirement.
” AII affected officers are to ensure compliance and forward their three months pre-retirement notice to the Comptroller-General
accordingly.
” Any observed error, omission, or legitimate complaints should be forwarded to the office of the Comptroller General of Customs through the Ag. Deputy Comptroller-General (HRD) on or before 30th June 2022.
” Zonal Coordinators, Area Controllers, and Unit Heads are requested to make the list available for circulation to all the affected officers in their respective Zones, Areas, and Units
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