The Nigeria Customs Service, Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited PTML Command has urged importers of vehicles and their agents to imbibe transparency while making declarations for their imported vehicles.
Comptroller Saidu Yusuf, Customs Area Controller of PTML gave the call in Lagos at a stakeholders’ sensitisation meeting on Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Yusuf used the occassion to tell participants that the VIN method has not been cancelled.
He reiterated an earlier position on the matter issued by the NCS headquarters that the VIN Valuation Process remains fully operational and effective.
“The trim numbers are critical in identifying distinct versions or tiers within a specific car model. They delineate varying configurations, features, and levels of equipment associated different models.
“The trim of vehicles are not same for all kinds and so declarants should have their transaction values,” he said.
Yusuf blamed some declarants for not being transparent because they go inputting what they think was the lowest base value which necessitates interventions like demand notice and alerts.
The customs boss advised them to apply invoice and transaction values as a way of promoting transparency and building integrity in the trade process of vehicle clearance.
Yusuf poined out that Section 24 Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023 provide for advance ruling for stakehokders to submit to the NCS before a transaction and the ruling will be binding on the service and the importer or agent.
This according to the Controller is a unique trade facilitation method provided for by the new law
Yusuf who described the meeting as being in line with the law also said customs stakeholders partnership was a provision of section 29 NCSA 2023.
According to him, meetings like this is meant to rub minds, identify challenges and jointly work out solutions on how best to resolve the challenges.
He added that the meeting was also in tandem with World Customs Organisation (WCO) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade facilitation thrusts which encourage consultations.
He reminded the stakeholders that the use of code 846 for clearing of non standard VIN had been further modified to reduce human contact through what he called e-846, which save time and make trade easier.
“I must commend the system because the reduction of human contact is very effective and beneficial to all as it saves time. I personally monitor electronically from my office and can confirm that my officers are implementing it diligently.
“Where ever you are experiencing delay in the process under my command, please draw my attention to it. My doors are open and will be more open to all of you.
“The help desk headed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer is active and responding to all inquiries online and in real time,” Yusuf said.
The NCS on Jan. 18, 2022 introduced the VIN valuation system used for allocating standard values to all vehicles coming into the country.
The system, according to Customs, automatically determines the value of import duty that an importer is expected to pay on any imported cars immediately after the vehicle is passed through a dedicated scanning machine.
It is an automated system that would aid the valuation of imported vehicles entering into the country through all Nigeria’s approved entering points.
The idea behind the development of the VIN is to address the agitation of clearing agents and other port users who have been calling for a standardised valuation system in the country.