By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has written the Secretary General of World Customs Organisation (WCO) Mr Kunio Mikuriya over the Nigerian Customs Service penchant for flouting the valuation principles of the WCO by not following its implementation sequentially and hierarchical order.
A copy of the letter made available to DAILY TREND NEWS dated 3rd of August 2020 was signed by the Vice President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto with reference number ANLCA/WCI/VOL042/08/020 titled “An Appeal for Interpretation of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Valuation Agreement and Other Sundry Expenses”
Over the years, ANLCA has appealed severally to the Nigeria Customs Service to issue uniformed value on cargoes, especially vehicles, even as the association has lamented various anomalies surrounding multiple interventions in the cargi clearance process.
Part of the allegations levelled against the Nigeria Customs apart from flouting the valuation principles is that it was imposing Internet value of cargoes on the trading community.
The letter reads in part; “Mr Secretary Sir, we are aware of the WTO valuation agreement on implementation of article VII of the general agreement on tariff and trade (GATT 1994). We are also aware that where the customs value cannot be determined on the basis of the transaction value. it must be determined using one of the six principles of valuation, A-F.
The convention which has also been domesticated into our valuation laws stipulates that the six principles of valuation methods must be used in hierarchical order. It states “inter alia”.
“Where the customs value cannot be determined on the basis of the transaction value, it will determine using one of the following methods:
The transaction value of identical goods, the transaction value of simitar goods, the deductive value method, the computed value method, the fall-back method”
“In view of the fact that your organization is the International regulatory body for all customs purposes. We hereby appeal that the under listed questions be clarified.
“That, whether. any customs body of any nation, can resort to flouting the valuation Principles by not following its imblementation, sequentially or in hierarchical order”
“Whether, it is ideal for any customs organization to impose internet value on the trading community or for customs purposes”
“That, it is not in line with international best practices for all departments and units of Customs of a countty to always query declarations if not in tariff &trade
“That it is absurd, for any customs organization, to issue notices of duty underpayment more than once for any declaration”
“That whether it is right, ideal and shows efficiency for a customs unit to release cargo while another customs unit intercept same cargo while it is being delivered to the consignee”
“Whether, the world customs organization was wrong with the creation of post clearance audit to do a post mortem on a suspected declaration which every customs ought to emulate instead of creating many units that have become hindrances to cause of cargo clearance”
“The ideal number of customs unit to treat a cargo in the spirit of trade facilitation agreement and time release study, all of WORLD CUSTOM ORGANlZATION instruments”
“Finally, we shali be delighted if the above issues are clarify in line with intemationai best practice as your response will allow us to confront the federal government with facts on the best way to faciiitate good trade in our nation and to put rest to issues of arbitrarily slamming of unacceptable value on Nigerian cargos which has become a norm in our country”