Freight charges in Nigeria’s seaports have jumped by 67 per cent, 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 per cent 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 the 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.”