The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has alleged that, some officers of the Nigeria Customs Officers (NCS) and some vehicle evaluation officers at some seaports lack of knowledge of what tariff is.
The Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited chapter chairman of NAGAFF, Mr. George Okafor who said this last week in a chat with Shipping Position Daily at Tin Can Island, Lagos, said what the officers do is to give importers estimated duty to pay.
He however said that duty should be generated from the Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) of the vehicles even as he added that duties differ depending on where one bought his/her car.
“Vehicles that come through the seaports here and pay their duty, you can talk of the ones coming from the land borders, but as far as they are coming from the port they pay their duty. If you say appropriate duty is a different thing and duty is not sacrosanct, it is 35% of the cost, CIS so the CIF you present to the valuation officer will determine the value they will give to you”
Explaining further, Okafor said that Tokunbo vehicles have no particular duty as they are not bought at the same price unlike knew vehicles.
“But the problem we are having is the FOU officers and some officers they do the right thing, some of them don’t even know the tariff. What they do is that they will tell you this vehicle is this and they will give you what they feel you should pay as tariff. They don’t know that vehicles pay duties based on Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) and like Tokunbo vehicles has no particular cost because you don’t buy them in the same areas they are bought at different places”
“So it depends on how much you budget but if it is a new vehicle they are very different they pay 70% you can easily know how much the cost is. Unless you are buying the Tokunbo directly from the company that is when you can say this is the price and all that. But once you are not buying from the manufacturers company anybody can sell to gain, some sell for discount”
Okafor however urged officers of the service to always check the age and mileage of the vehicles before determining the duties payable on them.
“The problem is that some of these things they are doing now, I don’t know if they have some other things they want to achieve. But if they want to do their jobs very well, they should ask themselves the age of the vehicles. Mileage, they should differentiate it”
He accused the officers of deliberately extorting money from importers.
“The FOU officers; I don’t know what they are doing, all I know they do is to extort money, I don’t know about what they are doing. If I should tell you some of them go to people’s shop to raid their shops and say you are supposed to pay this, they are not supposed to pay for anything. They should work out how much they are supposed to pay, what is the CIF and not this is what you are supposed to pay. The valuation officer gave value based on CIF and the customs on ground saw reasons and allowed it” he concluded.