Agents kick as Customs slam 15% levy on imported vehicles 

Border closure: Customs now rakes in N5.8bn a day — Ali
Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.


Clearing and forwarding agents at the nation’s seaports have expressed disappointment over the imposition of an additional 15% levy to be paid before clearing imported vehicles. 

The new levy, known as the National Automotive Council (NAC) levy, was imposed by the Nigeria Customs Service weekend. The levy is in addition to a 20% Customs duty and an additional 10% levy payable on imported vehicles. This effectively means that importers will be made to pay more than 50% of the value of their imported vehicle vehicles to government, when the 7.5% value added tax (VAT) is added to the duty and two other levies. 

Customs spokesman, Timi Bomodi, said the move was in line with the Economic Community of West African States Common External Tariff, 2017-2021.

“On Friday, April 1, 2022, the Nigeria Customs Service migrated from the old version of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (2017- 2021) to the new version (2022- 2026). This is in line with WCO’s five years’ review of the nomenclature. The contracting parties are expected to adopt the review based on regional considerations and national economic policy.

“The nation has adopted all tariff lines with few adjustments in the extant CET. As allowed for in Annex II of the 2022-2026 CET edition, and in line with the Finance Act and the National Automotive Policy, NCS has retained a duty rate of 20 per cent for used vehicles as was transmitted by ECOWAS with a NAC levy of 15 per cent. New vehicles will also pay a duty of 20 per cent with a NAC levy of 20 per cent as directed in the Federal Ministry of Finance letter ref. no. HMF BNP/NCS/CET/4/2022 of 7th April 2022. 

“In Chapter 98 of the current CET – bonafide assemblers importing completely knocked down and semi-knocked down are to enjoy a concession of zero per cent and 10 per cent duty rate, respectively. While within ECOWAS, duty rates for the same items are five per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. Incentivising their efforts through policy interventions guarantees a win-win situation for the nation in the long run. Implementing the current CET takes immediate effect, please,” he said. 

But some clearing agents who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS kicked against the imposition of the new levy. 

Chairman, Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) Tin Can Island Port chapter, Godfrey Emeka Nwosu, said he was still trying to come to terms with the imposition of the new levy. 

“As I am right now, I am confused. Like many of us, uncertainty characterizes our disposition to this new 15 percent by the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said. 

Also speaking, the Chairman of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents PTML chapter, Abayomi Duyile, said the move could have an adverse effect on port activities. 

Also speaking, the Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) PTML chapter, George Okafor, said, “This is wrong because there is no way Customs can calculate NAC levy on used vehicles. It should be for new vehicles. The levy is for new vehicles, and not old or used vehicles. We will have to meet with the Customs command to determine the next line of action.”