The big stick of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hovers omniously on importers, as the nation’s apex bank has threatened to suspend importers that refuse to collect their Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) from the foreign exchange market beginning April 30, 2013.
The CBN further warned that such importers would face other severe sanctions thereafter.
RAR is a document issued on the basis of inspections carried out on imports under the prevailing destination inspection regime by scanning services providers.
The CBN gave the warning in a circular titled: Uncollected Risk Assessment Report (RAR) , which bore reference number: TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/004, and was posted on its website at the weekend.
The circular signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Mr. Batari Musa, dated April 19, 2013, was addressed to all authorised dealers and importers.
The document stated that it had been observed that some RARs issued by the scanning service providers had remained uncollected by importers from their processing banks.
The implication of this, according to the central bank, is that import duties may not have been paid by such importers, thus denying government the revenue.
The CBN stated: “In view of this development, the owners of all uncollected RARs issued on or before 31st December, 2012, and which remained uncollected till date are hereby requested to collect RARs from their banks and pay all necessary duties, taxes and penalties. This should be done not later than 30th April, 2013.
“For the avoidance of doubt, failure to collect the outstanding RARs and pay the duty, taxes and other charges associated with the underlying import transactions, will result in the imposition of appropriate sanctions which include suspension from the foreign exchange market by the Central Bank of Nigeria until all outstanding RARS are accounted for.”
According to the CBN, in cases where duties, taxes and penalties had been paid, owners of the uncollected RARs should provide evidence of utilisation of the RARs, which should include single goods declarartion (SGD) registration number and date, as well as amount paid.
“Meanwhile, authorised dealers are hereby required to render returns (in both hard and soft copies) in excel format on all Uncollected RARs issued on or before 31st December 2012 on a month by month basis.
“The returns, which should be on such RARs that remain uncollected after the expiration of the deadline, should be forwarded to the CBN not later than May 7, 2013. Authourised dealers are enjoined to ensure compliance, failing which appropriate sanctions shall be imposed,” the CBN stated.