By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigeria Customs Service has said that it is riding on the same page with the World Customs Organization (WCO) in the use of Disruptive Technology in order to enhance trade facilitation at Nigerian ports and borders.
Disruptive Technology is a new evolution of technologies, contactless procedures and artificial intelligence adopted by WCO to aid trade facilitation in the wake of the Covid-19.
DAILY TREND findings shows that the Disruptive Technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, is to further raise awareness of the possibilities that technological solutions could provide towards facilitating and better controlling cross-border movement of goods.
Speaking recently at a press briefing in Lagos, Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Command, Compt Kunle Oloyede said that one of the Disruptive Technology that has been adopted by the Nigeria Customs is the Vehicles Identification Number (VIN Valuation).
He said the VIN Valuation has become a fiscal policy of the federal government which importers and clearing agents must have to accept, and can only engage government for fine tuning, rather than going on industrial actions.
“The VIN Valuation is here to stay, this is part of the Disruptive Technology that we are talking about in order to aid trade facilitation, we are talking about biometrics, artificial intelligence, scanners, machine learning and a whole lot of others that would aid trade facilitation
“VIN Valuation is used is all climes of the world, whereby it would allow us trace stolen vehicles, most times INTERPOL would write us, once you input the VIN of the vehicle, it would bring out all information about the vehicle” he said
Comptroller Oloyede regretted that when the VIN Valuation was first introduced at the port, many of the clearing agents and importers do not grasp the idea properly and this led to a protest.
“What happened with the VIN Valuation was the misuse of the codes, in the VIN Valuation, we have the Standard VIN and Non-standard VIN which we created import regime and regulations for.
“For Standard VIN, we created a procedure code of 4000000. For the Non-standard VIN we created 4000846.
The standard VIN has seventeen digits, while the Non-standard VIN could be less or more.
“But we know that vehicles coming from Europe, China comes with less than seventeen digits, so in order to accommodate all kinds of VIN, we need to do this. But the agents went ahead to use 846 and reducing the VIN by a dot or slash.
“During the risk profile, we had about 7,000 declarations all going the 846. Then when we looked at it, we saw that there was a misuse, in order to correct these misuse, I was brought in here at Tin Can Command and I came in the eye of the storm.
“Going to the next phase of implementation which is the VREG, the VIN Valuation is a small part of it. The operators of VREG wanted to take over the Valuation aspect of it, but we insisted that this belongs to the customs.
But along the line, we found out that the depreciation value of 10% was not included, this was why we pulled it down.
“So, before we bring it back again, we would do a UAT, we would do a townhall meeting, because when we did the last one, we did a webinar for more than seven times, but the agents were not with us when it comes to ICT.
We set up help desks, trained our TS to work as help desks, we are always available.
“When developing a solution, we don’t expect 100percent, once we can get 65percent, we leave the rest for updates, there is no perfect solution, there must be a gap for updates” he stated
Compt Oloyede assured that the Tin Can Customs Command under his watch is engaging the stakeholders on daily basis and as it is necessary, even if it is hourly.