New Customs Tariff: Shippers threaten to abandon goods at ports

The Shippers Association Lagos State (SALS) has said that importers and exporters may abandon goods at the ports as a result of the increase in tariffs and duty by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

President of the association, Jonathan Nicol, stated this yesterday in Lagos.

He said that the exchange rate was moved up from N197 to N282 to the dollar thereby effectively increasing the duty payable on cargoes at the port by 42%.

“Importers are then made to source for additional funds to meet the costs of clearance. When the costs of clearing goods go up, it will be passed to the final consumers.

“This in itself is a big challenge to the shipper. Goods caught in this regime will be grossly affected.

“Some (goods) will be abandoned in the ports for lack of funds,” Nicol said.

He said, “The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is handicapped due to the envisaged revenue target they must generate for the government.”

“The shipper will add all his costs and roll out new tariffs on his goods to break even,” Nicol said.

“We envisage that more goods would be sent to ports in neighbouring countries where they have almost stable cost regimes. Smuggling will also increase,” he added.

SHIPS & PORTS DAILY reported yesterday that the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Friday described hike in Customs duty as “hasty”.

Speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Stanley Ezenga, NAGAFF said that the increase in import duties would increase the cost of doing business as well as prices of imported goods.

The NCS, had through a circular issued to all Zonal Coordinators and Area Controllers on July 1, directed that all commands should be charging duties based on the new forex regime.

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