VIN Valuation Policy: Finally, Customs promises review

Written by Maritime First

… Insists the draconian charges wasn’t instigated by N3trillion revenue target***

The insistence of the nation’s Customs brokers and continuing down-tool over protest against Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy looks likely to have paid off, as the Nigeria Customs Service, represented by the Assistant Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Zone A, Mrs Modupe Aremu, on Tuesday assured clearing agents of policy review.

It would be recalled that the National Association of Government’s Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF recently recanted, saying they noted that thugs and miscreants had hijacked the protests.

Also read: Return to status quo, agents tell Customs Service, as strike continues

Aremu gave the assurance at a Customs/Stakeholders Town Hall meeting on VIN-Valuation System held in Lagos.

The clearing agents on Feb. 21 embarked on a protest at the Tin Can Island Port and Terminal Multiservices Ltd. (PTML) Terminal, which crippled economic activities at the ports.

The protest was fuelled by anomalies in the VIN valuation system policy introduced by the NCS for imported vehicles.

The NCS could not persuade the licensed customs agents to discontinue their protest at the port.

Aremu assured that there would be modification of the complaints by the clearing agents to get to a logical conclusion on the VIN.

“We are going to modify their complaints going forward.

The modification will take care of the complaints of the clearing agents as regards VIN,” she said.

The Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) Tariff and Trade, NCS, Mr Hamza Gumi, noted that the VIN was at the request of the agents and was introduced to harmonise value across commands.

He said the policy did not just start this year and it was not introduced because of the N3 billion target given to the customs.

“If we are on a high duty regime, management will look into it.

We will go back and say the truth of what we have heard from you freight forwarders to find solutions,” he said.

Gumi promises that the service would work on the documents provided at the stakeholders meeting by the agents and would soon communicate with them on the resolution.

Earlier, Mr Basil Nwolisa, an agent urged the customs to suspend the implementation of VIN for 90 days so that agents with consignments at the port would clear them based on the old regime.

Another clearing agent, Mr Taiwo Oyeniyi, urged customs to go back to the status quo until the issue was resolved.

According to him, all freight forwarders in this country are not against VIN valuation, but they are calling for the normal thing to be done; depreciation, wear and tear should be added.

Alhaji Rilwan Amuni, Taskforce Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, urged customs to go back to the drawing board and get a reliable database that would be good for everyone.

“We believe in this VIN because within a minute due to its automation, it can clear a vehicle, but the due process should be followed,” he said.


About the author

Maritime First