Customs to resume controversial VIN valuation policy next week  

Hameed Ali
Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it would resume implementation of the controversial vehicle identification number (VIN) valuation policy on imported vehicles from Monday May 2. 

The contentious valuation policy, which effectively hiked the Customs duty payable on fairly used imported vehicles by more than 200%, was first introduced in February but was stiffly resisted by clearing agents operating at the Tin Can Island and PTML Customs Commands in Lagos.

The clearing agents staged protests for about two weeks forcing the NCS to suspend the policy for 30 days. The agents, under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), argued that the new system was tacitly used by Customs to increase the cost of clearing imported vehicles at the port.

However, the NCS, in a statement on Tuesday, said it had concluded plans to reinstate the controversial VIN valuation on imported vehicles in May, adding that the stakeholders would be satisfied with the incorporated ideas and suggestions from their end.

“VIN valuation process is set to be fully reinstated in the month of May 2022. Stakeholders will be satisfied with the incorporated ideas and suggestions from their end,” Customs spokesman Timi Bomodi said. 

The NCS charged importers and clearing agents to embrace transparency and honesty in making their declarations at the point of entry. 

But some clearing agents informed SHIPS & PORTS that they remained skeptical on the reintroduction of the policy. 

Deputy National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Ugochukwu Nnadi, said that the NCS had not done enough to simply the valuation system. 

“The status quo still remains and we only have to watch them and see what they are bringing up. When it comes, we will try and whatever problems we encounter, we will let them know,” he said.

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