Importers, Agents Lament As Customs Allegedly Frustrate Implementation Of Vehicle Tariff Slash

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Importers and freight forwarders at Nigeria’s biggest vehicle importing terminals; PTML and Tin Can Island Port terminals have raised an alarm, alleging that Customs officers were frustrating implementation of the Federal Government’s reduction of tariff on imported vehicles.

Samples of various bill of laden obtained exclusively by DAILY TREND NEWS showed that the Nigeria Customs Service have doubled the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the vehicles, even as the Valuation Units at both Tincan Island and PTML Customs have doubled the Ex-factory prices of imported vehicles just to shore-up their yearly revenue target.

Recall that the Federal Government in its 2020 Finance Bill assented to recently by President Muhammadu Buhari had slashed the import duties for tractors, buses and other motor vehicles from 35% to 10% and 0% to further help cushion the socio-economic conditions of Nigerians.

However, only new vehicles enjoy slash in levy, they are to pay 5% levy and 35% duty as against, 35% duty and 35% levy they pay before. Tokunbo (used vehicles) on the other hand do not enjoy any of the privileges.

Secretary Tincan Chapter of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Barrister Ovien Michael Imonitie said the Nigeria Customs is contravening the directive of the Minister of Finance and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose intentions is to reduce the suffering of the Masses and reduce the inflation index through this Financial Bill.

He said that the intention of the Federal government was to ensure that, after a period of time, the masses would import more truck and mass transit buses to elevate the transport sector.

He however assured that ANLCA lesdership at Tin Can chapter is engaging the customs on the anomalies in implementation of the government’s policy.

“We have said it before now, that the Nigeria Custom Service will not abide by the Rule of Law, they would only look at the Revenue and think of every possible means of meeting up with their Target”

“We know that any 5% Duty Rate Items pay a higher VAT even when it was 5% VAT, not to talk now that is 7.5% VAT Rate”

“If we carefully observe the Valuation issued, we found out that the Valuation Units, both at Tincan & PTML multiply the former Ex-factory Price by 2 because of there economic gain to meet up with their revenue target. Knowing fully well that any increase in the CIF Value, will shoot up the VAT”

Another importer, Comrade Lawrence Agim lamented that the federal government was not sincere with its policy on slash on imported vehicles.

He described the policy as a Greek Gift, designed to take more from importers and clearing agents through the back door.

“The Federal Government presented this policy on reduction in tariff to us and made it look as if they are doing the masses favour, but now we already know their game plan

“If you look at the VAT on these vehicles now, there is a massive increment, at the end of the day, it has made nonsense of the whole policy ”

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