Connect with us

Customs

Customs brokers groan under VIN policy

—lament vehicle clearance at Lagos ports now cumbersome, expensive

Eyewitness reporter
Freight forwarders plying their trade at the Lagos ports have expressed frustration over the challenges they now face under the newly- introduced VIN policy recently introduced by the Nigeria Customs service.
Ventilating the agitations of the hapless Customs brokers, Kayode Farinto, the Vice- President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), lamented that the misapplication and manipulation of the otherwise noble policy had led to anguish, sorrow and despairs for freight forwarders who could not easily take delivery of their motorised cargoes due to the astronomical value imposed on vehicle clearance by the VIN policy.
As a  result, Farinto claimed that many vehicles are currently trapped at Lagos ports, attracting huge costs of demurrage.
The ANLCA Chieftain, who spoke to journalists over the weekend, said the main purpose of VIN valuation for imported vehicles has been defeated.“We won’t be tired of informing the Nigerian government about what is happening in our industry. In the last one week, our members are unable to clear vehicles from the port as a result of the introduction of VIN by the Customs.

“Let me take you on memory lane, why should we opt for VIN valuation? You will agree with me that before now, I was one of those that said that there was no uniform value on the clearance of vehicles.

” For example, if you have a 2015 Camry in Tin Can, Apapa and PTML,  you will never pay the same duty on them and these vehicles are going to the same market.”

“This is causing serious unease for our members, it’s also encouraging corruption and it is making us not to have predictability. One of the first criteria of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is that there must be predictability in Customs clearance.

“Hence, we now say okay, give us uniform value or key into that of Ghana system, that is how VIN came onboard,” he said.

Farinto said before Customs implement any of its policy, it is expected they collaborate with stakeholders, especially licensed Customs agents, adding that Customs needs to subject their value to public criticism for stakeholders to have their input.

He claimed that the introduction of VIN would not help the economy as it made the clearance of cargo particularly, vehicles impossible in the last few days.

The ANLCA boss said clearing vehicles have become herculean, thereby, making vehicles accumulate storage charges at various port terminals.

“We are calling on Customs to invite us, subject the value to criticism because you cannot shave our (clearing agents) head in our absence.

” The legal notice of 30 days talks about wear and tears rebate once a vehicle is bought in 2022 in America, that is, when you buy a car on January 1 and you drive it from Houston to Texas to far North, once it is used, it depreciates, 10 percent depreciation law comes in, same thing everywhere in the whole world. It is a standard thing.
“It is unfortunate that in Nigeria because nobody cries out importers are left to feel the pains.

” These agents entered into an agreement with importers; collecting bill of laden, charge them before the arrival of the vehicles. The vehicles arrive now, but the agents are unable to clear them because we are introducing VIN valuation.

“We are not saying you should not introduce VIN valuation. What we are saying is that if you look at the value in the VIN valuation, it is very outrageous.

” For example, I have three examples here, I checked the system and a MAZDA 2007 vehicle, gives over $5000. And what is the value of the 2007 vehicle in the market? You can even view it in the American market.

“Another one, we have Honda 2013 that was bought between $6000 or $7000 and we access the VIN value that will give you over N2 million as duty and if you convert it to dollars, that is over $15000. These are things that are killing our economy.”

“Another one is 2009 Honda, which ordinarily, the system is giving over $6000 meanwhile it is less than $2000 when we are even clearing it,” he said.

Farinto insisted that the purpose of embracing the VIN is to make sure it reduces the human to human contact, discourages corruption and creates a uniform duty.

“Anywhere within Nigeria, the moment you access it through VIN, nobody queries you on the road, no Customs officer will stop you on the road unnecessarily but, because Customs lacks professionalism, I’m  very sure they have not worked in tandem with the tariff department because If they have worked in tandem with tariff department, all these things would have been harmonised, that is why we are where we are now.”

“As I talk to you now, clearing agents are apprehensive, there are serious agitations because they are unable to clear their vehicles.

“As I talk to you now, there is a total breakdown of the system at the seaport, nobody can clear vehicles and the issue of Pre Arrival Assessment Result (PAAR) is still there.

” Customs is jacking up PAAR  as if we are in Oyingbo market, even the man at Oyingbo market will give his customers notice that prices will increase,” he lamented.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Customs

Tin Can Customs nets N574.3 billion in 2022 —–records N242.365 billion in exports

The Eyewitness reporter
The  Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has realized a sum of N574.3 billion in 2022.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede, disclosed this at a news conference at weekend.

Oloyede said the figure represented an increase of N80.90 billion or 16.39 percent when compared with N493.4 billion recorded in 2021.

“This feat can be attributed to the constant rejigging of the existing measures geared toward sustaining the command’s revenue profile.

“It is as well as utilisation of some disruptive strategic measures such as: periodic capacity building, reshuffling and redeployment of officers using the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis and implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation,” he said.

He noted that the command also ensured robust and continuous stakeholder engagements and collaborations with all sister government agencies and maritime associations.

“These led to timely intelligence sharing, utilisation and voluntary compliance to government’s extant laws by the trading public,” Oloyede said.

He added that the command increased surveillance on declarations made in order to sniff out improper declarations as well as offending items.

He pointed out that the system paid off with the command recording a total of 38 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.85 billion.

“These seizures comprise 763kgs of Colorado (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 345.1kg with a street market value of N714.6 million only as given by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), 5 x 40 containers of used motor tyre (5,060 pieces).

“Also among seized items are 1,150 bales of second-hand clothing, 1,190 cartons of 20 per carton of potassium bromate and baking powder, 11,392 cartons of 1,200 per carton Pharmacol injection chloroquine phosphate 322.5mg.5ml (IV and IM), 206,000 pieces of finished machetes.

“Also, 1,383 cartons of 50 rolls per carton of cigarettes, 650 cartons of 50 pieces per carton of new ladies shoes, 2,666 pieces in 36 pallets of new starter Ex-Premium Inverter Battery, 1,980 cartons of assorted non-alcoholic beverages and 1,048 cartons of Tilda basmati rice,” he said.

Oloyede listed others as 2,594 pieces of ammunition and 20 pieces of arms comprising of one pistol with 611090 (S/W) model JCP 40mm, one used Co2 air pistol with accessories cal 117(4.5m)BM, one marksman repeater pistol, six Mace pepper gun and 10 suspected arms of various types.

He said that the seizures when compared with the 2021 record of 27 seizures with a Debit Note of N607.27 only, show an increase of 11 seizures and N1.24 billion.

He said that the increase in the DPV rate could be associated with increased surveillance and intensified anti-smuggling drive, the high value of seized items and Naira depreciation that led to higher exchange rates on imported items.

“These prohibited items were seized and forfeited to the Federal Government in line with the provision of Sections 46 and 161 of the Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45 LFN 2004 and Absolute Prohibition List of CET 2022- 2026.

“The command pertinently acknowledges the prominent roles played by the Customs Intelligence Unit, Valuation Unit, Federal Operations Unit, CGC Strike Force as well as interventions of Sister Regulatory Agencies like the NDLEA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, the Nigeria Police and others in ensuring these seizures and detentions were made.

“A total of 60 suspects were detained in 2022 and were granted administrative bail while the command has 8 cases pending in court,” he said.

Oloyede said the command recorded a significant increase in the Free On Board (FOB) of exports in the period under review to the tune of $589,696,648 (N242,365,322,333.00) as against the $496,075,796 (N141,985,109,159.00) recorded in 2021.

He attributed the increase of 34.4 percent in the FOB to the high quality and value of exported commodities.

“However, the export report shows a decrease in tonnage of export from 1,723,986.8 in 2021 to 336,179.5 in 2022.

“The decrease in tonnage could be connected to current government fiscal policy which prohibited the export of wood and wood products as well as the global unrest with its concomitant economic challenges,” he said

He listed the commodities exported through the command to include: cocoa beans, insecticides, dried ginger, empty bottles, soya beans, cashew nuts, cigarettes, rubbers, cocoa butter, frozen shrimps, copper ingots, aluminum ingots, sesame seeds and other manufactured items.

“Cocoa beans were the highest exported commodity while the legend stout was the least exported commodity.

“The future of export in the command looks brighter as the command in line with the headquarter circular on Export Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) released a Port Order on the Command’s harmonised SOP for the seamless facilitation of Export Trade in strict compliance with Extant Laws and guidelines on Export,” he said.

Continue Reading

Customs

”No container will leave Apapa Port without 100 percent physical examination”

 

declares Auwal Mohammed as he takes over as new Apapa Customs Area controller

—promises to surpass N1 trillion revenue mark

—vows not to facilitate non-compliant traders

 

The Eyewitness reporter

Despite the deployment of cargo scanning machines, the new area comptroller of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, has vowed that no container shall leave the Apapa port without a 100 percent physical examination.

Comptroller Mohammed, who formally took over the mantle of leadership of the command Friday, 27th, January 2023, from Ag. Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs(ACG) Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, said that the decision to subject all cargo to physical examination was meant to account for every content of container passing through the command and to maximize revenue returns to the Federal Government.

He, therefore, warned non-compliant traders to steer clear of the command as he would not facilitate their trade as he desired to surpass the one trillion revenue mark achieved by the command under the former area controller Yusuf.

”We shall continue to conduct 100 percent physical examination of cargo so that we can account for all the cargo in the containers and to generate more revenue so that we can surpass the one trillion revenue collection that the command has already achieved. No package, no container should leave Apapa port without a proper 100 percent physical examination.” the new Comptroller told his officers who had gathered to welcome him.

He continued ”Today marks another era in the history of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service. I am inheriting a well-structured area command. The level of achievements and status achieved under my predecessor will be sustained while I will look for all means to surpass them.

I am ready for the job. I am aware of the big shoe I am stepping into but I am well prepared for it”, Comptroller Mohammad said.

He, therefore, asked the officers to be at their utmost best to cooperate and work with him to sustain and surpass the legacies of his predecessor.

He also solicited the support and cooperation of stakeholders whom he promised to engage with and updated frequently on all issues and policies that will enhance their trade and performance of the command.

The new helmsman also charged all the releasing officers and the image analysts who will be conducting the scanning of cargo to be diligent and exhibit the utmost sense of responsibility and professionalism in their duty so as not to release uncustomed goods.

Mohammed, who was redeployed from Onne Port Area Command when he was the area controller, also enjoined the importers and their agents to be compliant with the cargo clearance procedural processes in order to enjoy a seamless cargo release.

”The goods clearance procedure is simple. Everything starts and ends with declaration and if there is a proper and correct declaration of cargo, there won’t be any need for delay and unnecessary interference with the process”, he admonished.

Earlier, the outgoing Area Controller, Ag. Yusuf, while handling over the operations and procedures of the command to his successor, solicited the support and cooperation of all the officers and other stakeholders for the new helmsman, urging them to avail the new comptroller of the same level of support, guidance, and cooperation and advice they gave him.

He also lauded the untiring efforts of his officers whom he said were instrumental in the monumental achievements recorded by the command under his watch.

Consequently, some officers who excelled in the discharge of their duties were commended and awarded certificates of merit, including the indefatigable Public Relations officer of the Command, CSC Abubakar Usman.

 

 

Continue Reading

Customs

Hameed Ali, Customs boss, in last minute  frenzied promotion, reshuffle of officers 

CGC, Ali
The Eyewitness reporter
In what appears to be his last major assignment before his second-term tenure as the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service winds down on May 29th, 2023, Hammed Ali, the Customs boss, has undertaken a comprehensive restructuring of the service through mass promotion, a reshuffle of the management team and rejigging of the area Controllers.
Col.(rtd) Ali kickstarted the massive exercise with a promotion galore of officers when on January 5th, 2023, three ACGs were appointed and 1490 officers were promoted to their next ranks by the Customs board upon his recommendation.
Not done yet with what stakeholders described as his parting gift to officers, a week later, the CGC announced the reshuffle of the management team of the service by infusing some newly promoted ACGs into the team while swapping the positions of some old members.
The icing on the cake was when he reshuffled the Area Controllers by rewarding some newly promoted Controllers with juicy Area commands while swapping the positions of the old ones.
The latest exercise, announced Saturday, January 21st, 2023, was the new disposition at the command structure of the service.
In the new posting, Comptroller Timi Bomodi, who was until now, the National Public Relations Officer of the Service and newly promoted to the Comptroller cadre, was posted to head the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) in Lagos, while  Comptroller Dera Nnadi, who had just concluded his management course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, near Jos, was posted to Seme Area Command as its Area Controller.
Nnadi had a short stint at Ogun Command, Idiroko, as its Area Controller before he left for NIPSS.

In the new posting, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed was moved from Port Harcourt Area 2 command to head Apapa Command vacated by the revenue czar in the service, ACG Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf.

Others include Compt OA Salefu who now heads Western Marine Command Lagos, Compt AM Ibrahim heads PTML Terminal Lagos and Compt M.S Yusuf superintendents over the Muritala Muhammed Airport command in Lagos.

Compt CD Wada goes to Port Harcourt Area1 command as its Area Controller, while M.I Jalo heads Federal Operations Unit Zone B  while B . Mohammed heads Lillypond command in Lagos.

The promotions and reshuffle of officers have however elicited mixed reactions among the Customs officers.

For those who benefited from the parting gift of Hammed Ali, it was a welcome development, but for those who hold the short end of the stick in the exercise, it left a sour taste in their mouth.

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: