Customs Switches Age limit of Vehicles to 2014, Freight Forwarders Kick

Hameed Ali

By DAPO OLAWUNI

There is palpable tension at the two Roll-on Roll-off vehicle terminals in Lagos; Tin Can Island Port and PTML Terminal over the latest hike in import duty payable on vehicles due to the changes in age limit of vehicles from 2013 to 2014.

The implication of this, is that any vehicle year lower than 2014 would be made to pay duty of 2014 vehicles.

The customs has also allegedly failed to adjust it’s system and effect the depreciation value on all vehicles in line with international standards and customs practice.

In 2022, the Nigeria Customs Service had pegged the age limit of vehicles coming into the country from 15-years down to 12-years, hence the least duty value payable on any vehicle imported was year 2013 duty.

Licensed customs agents who spoke exclusively with DAILY TREND on Wednesday have however alleged that after returning from the festivities, it was discovered that customs has switched it’s systems to a fresh calendar for the year 2023 and this has further increase the least duty payable on vehicles.

According to them, the least value payable on cars is now pegged at year 2014, even as they alleged that customs failed to implement depreciation value on the duties in line with international standard.

According to them, the duty payment for a Toyota Corolla vehicle has now jumped from N299,000 to N334,000.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Youth Leader of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port, and Cordinator of Five Star Terminal, Mr Remilekun Sikiru, stated that, on 2nd of January 2023, the Nigeria customs service automatically switched to the next calenders year which ordinarily should have been done by April 2023.

“On this note, the lowest duty now is 2014 applicable to all vehicles, for example the lowest duty of a Corolla now is N334,000 against N299,000 we are paying before as the lowest.

“But the good thing they did is they try to reduce the duty of 2015 and above abit by encouraging the importers to bring in more advance year of manufacture to the country.

“Critically, NCS has failed again to implement the 10% depreciation value on the system for all the vehicles in the next calendar year which is absurd, I believe it’s time for the stakeholders to strike in.

“The NCS failed again to tandem with the critical stakeholders before implementing this policy knowing fully well that we are just coming from festive holiday, and no prior notice ahead, a lot of professionals have some pending jobs which the profit has been spent during the festive period the question is how will the go about it?

“All we are hearing is the government want to increase the duty by 0.5% vat which we are yet to hear from the minister of finance to make publication on that.

“Importation has dropped by 70% yet the government fails to take a review but all they are after is generating revenue which is deteriorating, derailing and jeopardizing the economy” he lamented

Also speaking with our correspondent, another licensed customs agent, Mr Thimothy Adebowale lamented that the value clearing agents were paying on 2014 cars in the year 2022 is what they were still paying in 2023.

“When the Customs knew that their system cannot accomodate a vehicle of 2013 when we enter into the year 2023, the percentage of depreciation rate last year on a 2014 vehicle was 80%, while a 2013 vehicle was 90%.
Now that we are in 2023, what stops the customs from effecting the depreciation rate on 2014 vehicles to 90%?

“Every year, the vehicles depreciates, customs supposed to effect it, such that if there is going to be any increment, it’s going to be little. It is an international rule, not applicable to Nigeria alone” he said

According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service is only eager to generate revenue for the federal government, not minding the pains of the Nigerian masses.

The customs calendar year starts in April of every year, but they have rushed to change it in January because they want to impress the federal government

“Nigeria Customs Service are tax robbers, they are not professionals, they are are hiding under the pretense of generating revenue for the federal government” he said

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