The Federal Government decision to implement the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) 2015-2019 and 2015 Fiscal Policy Measures in the country may not be good news for Nigerian importers as they are to pay more duties under the present scheme than what they were paying before.
SHIPPING DAY investigation shows the present scheme may see Nigerian importers paying 25- 40 percent more than they were paying before.
This discovery by freight forwarders, it was gathered, has also led to slow implementation of the scheme since it was introduced since April 11.
Although the details are yet to be worked out, it was gathered weekend that while some levies have been collapsed, they have equally been reintroduced under another name as 50 percent Import Adjustment Tax (IAT).
The tax came up after the collapse of the 5 percent VAT, 0.5percent ETLS and 7percent port levy.
Importers and freight forwarders told SHIPPING DAY that under the present dispensation, they are to pay about 40 percent more than they were paying before.
The new duty is slowing down clearing as many customs brokers have been protesting and waiting for a clearer picture before further transactions.
The approval for the implementation of the new Tariff was conveyed in a statement signed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala last week.
In a press statement issued by the Deputy Controller of Customs, Mr Wale Adeniyi, the implementation of the ECOWAS CET together with its Supplementary Protection Measures (SPM) and 2015 Fiscal Policy Measures occurs concurrently and will take effect from April 11
after the expiration of the 30 days notice required under the provisions of the ECOWAS CET.
With this development, all imports arriving into the country beginning from April 11, shall be subjected to the rates contained in the CET 2015- 2019 and 2015 Fiscal Measures without recourse to the rates applicable before the coming into effect of the ECOWAS CET 2015 – 2019, according to the statement.
Adeniyi added that the approved Supplementary Protection Measures (SPM)/Fiscal Policy Measures comprise an Import Adjustment Tax (IAT) list which involves additional taxes on 177 Tariff Lines of the ECOWAS CET.
It also includes a National List consisting of items whose Import duty rates have
been reviewed to encourage more development in strategic sectors of the economy and an Import Prohibition List (Trade), applicable only to certain
goods originating from non-ECOWAS Countries.
The statement urged all stakeholders to ensure compliance with the New ECOWAS Tariff to enhance trade facilitation within and outside the region.