Importers, agents still pay 2% NAC levy four years after it was suspended

Even though the two percent National Automotive Council (NAC) levy has been suspended since 2011, some auto importers still ignorantly pay for this levy, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY has gathered.

The two percent NAC levy was introduced by the Federal Government in 1993 to boost local production of vehicles but was suspended in 2011 after all the funds collected by NAC could not be accounted for.

SHIPS & PORTS DAILY investigation revealed that while the levy has been suspended, the sub-heading for the two percent NAC levy still appears in the revenue profile records of major Customs command in Lagos.

For example, revenue accrued from the two percent NAC levy at the Tin Can Island Port command amounted to N423.7 million between December 2014 and January 2015 while Apapa Customs command collected N13.7million in January 2015. No amount was collected at the PTML command.

When contacted to enquire if the levy had been re-introduced, Director General, NAC, Aminu Jalal told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY via the telephone on Thursday that he was not aware of the reintroduction but would confirm from Customs.

He disclosed that a new bill to re-introduce the levy was passed last year but will only take effect after it has been gazetted adding that Customs has also not remitted any money into the account since it was suspended.

“There is an account for the two percent levy with the CBN and as far as we know it is zero, there is no money inside but we will find out if there is any money inside,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has called on importers and their agents who are still unaware of the suspension to stop payment of the levy saying that the fee is not a requirement for processing or clearance of vehicles.

NCS Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Wale Adeniyi told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that Customs was not in a position to stop importers from paying when they want to make such payment because it is done electronically.

“It was suspended in 2011 and we don’t have any sub-heading for it but we understand that some importers still go ahead to pay. We are not in the position to stop payment when they want to pay but it is not a requirement for processing of anything because officially, it has been suspended.

“Importers who made those payments would say it was paid for in error and can put up an application for refund. They do declaration by themselves and they make e- payment but because this payment is not required for any of our processing, those who have paid are entitled to refund,” Adeniyi said.

He also called on the leadership of the various associations to always educate their members especially on issues concerning government policies.

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