By DAPO OLAWUNI
In order to automatically determine the payable duty value of imported cars, the Nigeria Customs Service has introduced the Vehicle Identification Number Valuation system in order to cub years of under-the-table valuation system practiced by the service.
DAILY TREND NEWS recalls that clearing agents, especially the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has over the years cried out to the customs for a uniformed value on imported vehicles into Nigeria.
Prior to this time, in order to issue valuation of cars, the customs valuation goes on the Internet to pick value for the vehicle, a practice that has drawn wide criticism against customs.
Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, ICT/Modernization, ACG. Saidu Galadima has however said ‘’With the introduction of Webb Tracker Application and simplified standard operating procedure on the usage of scanners, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (RTD), through the ICT\Modernization, has also unveiled the VIN Valuation, an automated system that will help to aid the valuation of vehicles coming into the country’’.
Galadima said the high importations of cars into the country necessitated the introduction of the digital tool.
‘’Importation of cars happened to be one of the major imports into the country and as people request for a standardized method of valuation, the service decided to develop this to aid the valuation of motors vehicle entering Nigeria through our borders.
It’s a system that uses artificial intelligence to allocate appropriate values and taxes by using Vehicle Identification Number, VIN at the trader’s zone. What customs need from the trader or his agent is to input the VIN number and the system will automatically access based on the available data across the world. it will bring out all data regarding the vehicle; the make, the year’’ he stated.
Highlighting the benefits to both Customs and Nigeria, he said the key concept of the innovation is simplification and enhancement of integrity.
The Assistant Comptroller General said ‘’In all this process there is no form of human contact, the system uses artificial intelligence to allocate the appropriate value hence there is no human interference, that’s why we call it self-declaration. you know the cost of your vehicle and your input. If you declare correctly and you make payments, within 6 hours you will be out of Customs control. The result is trade facilitation. We are appealing to Nigerians to make the best use of this system we have deployed and rolled out.’’ He concluded