Freight forwarders on Monday staged protests at the Tin Can Island Port and PTML Terminals over the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy for imported vehicles recently introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The protests follow the expiration of the 72 hours strike notice issued by all registered freight forwarding associations operating at the PTML Terminal and Tin Can Island port in Lagos, last week, to the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, over the anomalies surrounding the VIN valuation policy, which has reportedly led to the hike of the assessment value of imported vehicles by as much as 300 per cent.
The protesting agents sealed off Car Park C at the Tin Can Island Port.
The freight forwarders said despite their cries to the Customs boss to address the issue, cars are now stranded at the port due to failure of the new customs valuation system to generate accurate value payable on imported cars with no remedy to the situation on the ground.
They complained that there was no consideration for rebate and depreciation value in the valuation being issued on imported cars.
The Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), PTML chapter, Oluwole Obey, said the Customs Comptroller-General refused to reply the agents’ letter on their grievances.
Obey said the freight forwarders were not against the introduction of the new valuation system, as they view it would end corruption in the system of vehicle clearance. He, however, complained that the Customs failed to carry out due diligence before implementation of the policy, adding that the value being issued to be paid on imported vehicles has risen by almost 300 per cent.
Obey said this would affect the end-users as the prices of vehicles will skyrocket, noting that Toyota Camry, which sells for N1.5 million may be sold for N5 million.
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