The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Monday announced the suspension of its controversial vehicle identification number (VIN) policy for the valuation of imported vehicles.
The contentious valuation policy, which effectively hiked the Customs duty payable on fairly used imported vehicles by more than 200%, was resisted by clearing agents operating at the Tin Can Island and PTML Customs Commands in Lagos.
The agents blockaded the two customs commands, refusing to allow the clearing of goods from the port.
However, customs announced the suspension of the policy for 30 days, via a circular titled “Approval of Grace Period To Clear Backlog Of Vehicles’ dated March 7, 2022, and signed on behalf of the Comptroller General of Customs by an Assistant Comptroller General, H.K Gummi.
The circular with reference number NCS/T&T/ACG/008/S.100/VOL 111 and addressed to all Customs Area Controllers reads in part: “Sequel to the recent Customs, stakeholders town hall meeting held in Lagos on the VIN-Valuation, the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), having listened to public outcry, has graciously approved one month window to enable clearing the backlog of vehicles held up in the ports as a result of the strike action.
“Meanwhile, you are requested to ensure the uniform application of rebates for all vehicles using the correct values for your assessments.
“The VIN-Valuation protocol is still in operation as reviews and updates are being captured in our system to reflect these adjustments.”
The circular further directed all the Area Controllers to monitor the transition period and ensure manual assessments of import duty on vehicles are in compliance with extant laws.
“Area Controllers are expected to monitor this transition period and ensure manual assessments are in full compliance with extant laws.
“This grace period is for one month, beginning from Tuesday 8 Mar 2022.
“You are to bring the contents of this circular to your officers and the general public for their information and guidance, please,” it added.
Customs spokesman, Timi Bomodi, confirmed the suspension of the controversial valuation policy to SHIPS & PORTS.
“As a responsive and responsible agency, Nigeria Customs Service will sustain its consultations with stakeholders in line with Article 2 of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement for a smoother Customs stakeholders relationship,” Bomodi said.