Why It Will Be Difficult To Have Uniform Duty For Tokunbo  Vehicles----Customs 

A truck carrying a 20ft container fell on another 20ft at a very bad ditch at Trinity bus stop along Apapa Oshodi expressway, Lagos last week.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) disclosed that there can not be uniform duty on used imported cars of the same model and year of manufacture that are coming into the country,  it said that the importers’ inability to declare appropriately the value of the cars makes it difficult for a uniform value to be placed on them.

An Assistant Controller of Customs at the Apapa command of the service, Nelson Ochai , who gave this explanation in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in an event organized by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in collaboration with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) in Lagos, last week, also said that this does not apply to new vehicles, as the value of such is already known.

Ochai also said that some importers in other to cut cost will change the actual value of the vehicle they imported.

Explaining further, he said it is easier to have a uniform value for new cars because there is the manufacturers’ right.

“Talking about having a uniform duty for vehicles, there can be no uniform duty for anybody because ordinarily it is supposed to be on transaction value. If you declare appropriately what you bought then the value will be given. There can be no uniform duty but for new vehicles, yes as you buy the duty is already known. If I go to America and buy 2019 vehicle the value is known because you have the manufacturers’ right, but when you come to Nigeria you will change it. The vehicle you bought   at   say N19million you want to change it to N2million”, he said.

“Talking about value on imported vehicles, there is no agreement. Some of these importers will go and buy a car for example $70, 000 and they will come to tell customs that they bought the car for $7, 000. So when such comes up they will start blaming customs,  they forget that somebody is somewhere who is checking it and when they find out you pay”, he pointed out.

Speaking on the multiple alerts, the Apapa customs top man said that some of these transactions are alerted.

“We are talking about so many alerts; some of these things are alerted. Like the used vehicles, there is no fixed price for any vehicle, ordinarily if we are using a synergy goods should be in place for transaction value as stated. But here in Nigeria we don’t depend on the true value of what we get from the importer, sometimes DNs are raised and some of these importers abandon their vehicles and go, there is also a platform to check officers. If you come to Apapa there is CGC taskforce and you see that officers who did not comply are checkmated at the roads, as you know many of our officers are in trouble some are even on suspension now for unethical practice. Right now consignments are allocated to realizing officers at the port because of the introduction of NICIS 2. The system allocates it directly those who are in the import will know that any consignment can be assigned to you not because you know the officer or anything”, he said.