Shippers under the aegis of Shippers Association of Lagos State have charged the management of the Nigeria Customs Service to consider depreciation effect before determining the values to be placed on imported vehicles.
This is coming on the heels of the recent move by the service in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) to ensure uniformity of duties on vehicles that come into the ports.
Speaking in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos, the association president; Reverend Jonathan Nicol advised that whatever duty the government wants to place on a car, they should consider that there is always an age rebate on vehicles, adding that what you pay on an old car should be different from what you pay on a newer car.
He also urged the government to key into that if they want to ensure success on the uniformity of the duties paid on vehicles.
“But whatever price they want to pay, they should have in mind that there is age rebate on cars. You don’t pay the same duty of a 10-year old car to the same you pay on a two- year old car because there must be a depreciation effect. If a car is three years it must have depreciation for two years; it is the depreciation effect that should determine what duty should be paid on vehicles. I think that will be key to the uniformity of duties that the customs want to introduce”
He maintained that the customs information should be one adding that what you pay for a particular car in Apapa ports should be what you will pay for the same type of car in other ports like Tin Can.
“On the uniformity of duties, the customs formation is one; in those days you can pay your duty in any port of your choice. So the rate of duty in one should not be different from the rate in other ports, it is supposed to be the same, what you get in Apapa port should be the same with what you get in Tin Can”
Rev. Nicole also faulted the government for banning the importation of vehicles through the land border, saying that it is against international standard of shipping, even as he said that the government has the right to ban importation of any item, if they consider it not good for the development of the country.
He also said that although the ban was harsh on importers when it was newly-announced, it has improved activities in the ports, saying that importers whose vehicles where already on the way before the ban had no choice than to use the seaports.
“Yes, the ban has actually increased the activities on the seaports, you know before the ban took-off, a lot of vehicles coming into the country were on their way, so they don’t have a choice than to come to Lagos and drop their vehicles”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, the National Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Mr. Stanley Ezenga, has said that the committee formed by the Nigeria Customs Service on the uniformity of vehicle duties is inimical.
He maintained that the move will deny most Nigerians the right to own a car.
“You know they have introduced 25% and 75% before, so we saw that committee as inimical. Any average Nigerian will not find purchasing of cars very easy if they introduce this one now, it will make cars to be out of reach of many Nigerians. We are still looking at a way to go about that, we don’t support the policy at all” he said.