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Customs

Apapa Customs intercepts 9 containers of wood, seizes N78m codeine

Eyewitness reporter
The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) has Intercepted nine containers of unprocessed and semi-processed wood at the point of loading into a vessel.
The seizure was made possible through credible intelligence.
According to the press statement made available to our reporter by Abubakar Usman , a Deputy Superintendent of Customs and the Public Relations Officer of the command, the command also seized a container of unregistered pharmaceutical (codeine syrup and col caps) with a duty paid value of N78,797,975.00
Giving a breakdown of the wood seizures’ value, the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Yusuf Malanta said it is worth N70,559,775.00
Comptroller Yusuf attributed the success of the command to inter-agency synergies between customs and sister organisations like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He said the collaboration with NDLEA has helped in gathering intelligence, leading to seizures of prohibited items as the command acts swiftly on reliable information without waiting for importers to come forward before effecting examination on suspected cargoes.
He said efforts at making Apapa Port a no-go area for unlawful trade will always be sustained while ensuring that maximum revenue is collected into government coffers from all legitimate transactions.
While arrests are yet to be made, the CAC said investigations are ongoing by the Nigeria Customs Service and NDLEA to detect, arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the illegal importation
Comptroller Yusuf reiterated that the command is committed to surpassing its revenue collection of N870 billion in 2021.
He said a total of N95.3 billion was collected in January 2022, which surpassed the N54.3 billion collected in January 2021 by N39 billion
The Comptroller noted that these are seizures of timber and rock balsam, under HS Code 44011000 to 44039000, and they contravene Sections 63 and 64 of the Export Trade (improper exportation of items).
He added that the command is going to make sure that recalcitrant traders are brought to book and exportation of prohibited items are not allowed to pass through Apapa port.
The DPV of the wood for all nine containers stood at ₦70, 559,775.00
Another container number TCKU 6800526 which was laden with 702 cartons of codeine syrup (each carton contains 200 pieces) and 347 cartons of Col caps (each carton contains 2,000 pieces) was also seized by the command, with a street value of ₦78,787,975.00
Controller Yusuf further commended officers/men of the command for not relenting in discharging their official responsibilities.
Meanwhile,  the NDLEA Commander in Apapa Port, Samuel Gadzama, has promised stronger synergy with customs to prevent such importation,  adding that upon due diligence through a court process, the seized drugs would be publicly destroyed in line with extant laws.

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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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