The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced full implementation of the new tariff on imported vehicles.
Accordingly, importers and car dealers who are hitherto paying 20 percent as duty and two percent as levy on new cars will henceforth pay 70 percent.
Under the new automotive policy, fully built cars will attract duty of 35 percent and levy of another 35 percent of the cost of the vehicle raising the total tariff to 70 percent.
Confirming the development, Public Relations Officer, Tin can Island Port Command of NCS, Chris Osunkwo, said that the customs high command has issued a new directive to the effect but the command is yet to confirm if the new tariff will affect both used and new vehicles.
“Just yesterday (Tuesday), the directive came officially and they said it is with immediate effect. So the valuation unit is expected to take off immediately. But we still need to clarify from the headquarters if the new tariff will affect both used and new cars, the circulars just say fully built cars. Usually, when circulars like this come, it comes with clarification,” he said.
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has however expressed dissatisfaction with this development.
President of the association, Chief Eugene Nweke, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday that it is counterproductive for the Nigeria Customs Service to commence implementation of the new tariff on imported vehicles given that the policy cushioning the new tariff is still being reviewed.
“The customs in their wisdom said that a circular was issued to them that with effect from March they should start implementing a particular policy. But within that period there have been discussions that say that the policy should be suspended until June. How come the federal government again turned out to be implementing this policy? That means there is gross communication gap between the Nigeria Customs and the ministry,” he said.
The NAGAFF president called for suspension of the new policy on imported vehicles noting that until the local vehicle manufacturing capacity is fully developed, the policy is will be “anti-people.”
He called on the Ministry of Finance to be bold enough to direct Customs to reissue another circular countering the implementation of the contentious new tariff on imported vehicles.
A NAGAFF chieftain operating at PTML complained to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that agents operating at the vehicle handling terminal have been in a state of helplessness since customs commenced implementation of the new tariff on vehicles yesterday.
He said that to make matters worse for them the age limit of imported private vehicles, according to him, has been reduced to ten years from fifteen years it used to be while for commercial vehicles, it is fifteen years.
“That means all cars from 2003 below are no longer allowed into the country. This is not good for us at all,” he said.
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