Customs deny implementing 35% duty on vehicles

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) yesterday denied the allegation by licenced customs agents that it has commenced implementation of the 35 per cent duty on imported used vehicles.

Chris Osunkwo, Spokesman for the Tin-Can Island Customs Command, said that the customs was only collecting the 20 per cent duty on new vehicles.

“At no time did the customs collect 35 per cent duty on second-hand vehicles. The 1 July directive by the Federal Government on the item still stands. We are not collecting such tariff until 1 July.

“The government says that we should collect 20 per cent duty on new vehicles and 35 per cent duty on used vehicles but the latter has not come into effect,” Osunkwo said.

Osunkwo said the customs wondered why the agents had been protesting that the directive had been implemented ahead of the 1 July implementation date.

He said that it was wrong for clearing agents to protest what was not real.

The customs spokesman advised the clearing agents to redirect their grievances to the government.

However, Secretary of the Tin Can Island Port chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licenc ed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chuks Kanikwu, said the agents will continue to protest the sudden implementation of the policy.

“Because of the sudden implementation, most clearing agents are in debt. There usually exist a contractual agreement between an importer and the agent.

“The clearing agents had already entered into this agreement hoping that the implementation of the tariff will start on 1 July.

“If an agent returns to the importer to ask for additional money, the agent will become a liar and this is not good for business,” he said.

He urged the Federal Government to re-examine its National Automotive Policy, which occasioned the increase in the duty, pending when car assembly plants were in place.

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