Customs withdraws N2bn DN claim against Stallion Motors

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has issued orders for the reversal of the “erroneous” demand made by the  port authorities on Stallion Motors concerning the payment of import duty.

The customs authorities were said to have admitted that the disagreement over the charges might have been caused by a misunderstanding of the new auto policy.

Stallion Group had earlier strongly refuted reports alleging malpractices in its customs declaration of vehicle kits.

“As a group associated with multiple multinational automobile companies worldwide, the strict compliance with regulations was of utmost importance in the operation of its automotive plants,” the Stallion Group said.

The group denied the alleged malpractice as reported and promised that its practices were in strict compliance of all applicable regulations under the new Automotive Policy of the federal government as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in October 2013 and furthermore duly publicised in the official gazette.

“The group thanked the NCS for its due acceptance of the clarifications and commitment for smooth clearing of critical consignments destined for bona fide assembly of Nigeria-made commercial and passenger vehicles.

“Taking the opportunity of this incident, Stallion emphasised the criticality of the policy’s interpretation and implementation amongst all the stakeholders including the good offices of the NCS and other government departments.

“Given the committed involvement and ongoing investments of several major global automobile giants in Nigeria, Stallion underlined the need to establish a smooth single window process to ensure that all the country’s ports apply the stipulated tariffs,” according to a report published yesterday by a Nigerian newspaper.

It was learnt that Stallion is collaborating with Nissan and Hyundai brands and has commenced assembly of passenger vehicles in Nigeria, making a key contribution to the successful launch of the new automotive policy.

It is anticipated that Stallion, along with other assembly plants in the country, are set to commence assembly of several other brands within the next few months.

In the meantime, the National Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA) issued a strong statement, urging the federal government to implement the revised tariffs for importation of used vehicles into the country, effective January 1 2015 as earlier announced.

NAMA contended that the control of the mass influx of used cars into the country would be vital for the development and sustenance of the local automotive industry as envisaged by the new auto policy.

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