Agents vow to resist outrageous charges as Customs resume VIN valuation | The Guardian Nigeria News


As the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) resumes implementation of the controversial vehicle identification number (VIN) valuation on imported vehicles, clearing agents under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have vowed to challenge unfair charges and extortion of any guise.

The NCS had announced the resumption of the valuation policy from May 2. The policy, which was first introduced in February 2022 hiked the duties payable on fairly-used vehicles by more than 200 per cent but was resisted by clearing agents.

This led to protests that had the ports and activities around it shut down for about two weeks, which created a backlog of un-cleared goods at the ports, thereby forcing the NCS to suspend the policy for 30 days.

The NCS, in a statement, said it had concluded plans to reinstate the exercise, adding that the stakeholders would be satisfied with the incorporated ideas and suggestions from their end.

The NCS said the policy in the first instance failed to properly configure the date of depreciation of vehicles, which made the values wrong. But the Acting National President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto, said there is a need to monitor the new process, noting that people who would not want the process to be successful may introduce things outside the agreement into the procedures.

He said stakeholders are expecting the new process to eliminate multiple alerts on genuinely declared vehicles, hike in values by customs units as well as forged and mutilated valuation papers by third parties.

“I have released the agreed procedures on clearance of Standard Chassis Vehicles that fall within VIN Valuation and Non-Standard Chassis Vehicles, salvaged vehicles a few days ago. We need to allow these new changes going by all we go through in the hands of customs various units to clear vehicles in the ports and even when you take your valuation, many alerts are put on our declarations and it takes the grace of God and difficult conditions to get them out of the ports.

“As if to say that is not enough, you need to know the number of calls we receive from our members delivering these vehicles within and outside Lagos environment. Many customs units will say your values are compromised, it must be jacked up and many of us are at their mercy pleading that Debit Note should not be issued on already exited vehicles.

“This and many more are what we believe the VIN valuation will eliminate. Many agents have been given forged and mutilated valuation papers by third parties and are left to suffer the consequences of whatever happens. We do not need all this to get our vehicles released and we promise to challenge any command that may want to use the office of monitoring to extort money from our members when this new process commences,” he assured.

MEANWHILE, Farinto said the association in collaboration with the motor dealers association would pursue the 15 per cent National Automotive Council (NAC) levy turned import levy immediately after the Sallah celebration. He also assured that the leadership of ANLCA will engage the National Assembly on the plight of the masses to have introduced levy during this period when the economy is comatose.

He added that the association will also drag the Federal Ministry of Finance before the peoples’ representatives on this matter. Farinto also lamented that the inconsistencies in government policies and lack of laws to protect indigenous practitioners in the freight forwarding sector are gradually making them lose their profession to foreign domination.

On the sideline, the National President, ANLCA, Tony Nwabunike, in his Eid El Fitri message, urged politicians and public servants superintending over the maritime, aviation and total logistics sectors, who are adherents of the faiths to lead Nigeria with the fear of God. He said obedience to rules governing operations of the sectors is the key to unlocking the many untapped but identified channels of success.

According to him using compliance as parlance in maritime trade to address the private sector players is a sense of narrow-minded expression by the users of such a mode of communication.

Nwabunike said government agencies owe the country and its citizens the duty to be compliant by discharging their duties without fear or favour and avoiding compromise of their positions for personal gains.

According to him, holistic compliance will make technology work for Nigeria and present workers truly as nation builders who obey the teachings of religious leanings.

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