Nigeria seeks India Customs technical support on cargo value

The Nigeria Customs Service says it is seeking technical support from the India Customs administration to publish data value of all imported consignments.

Customs spokesman, Wale Adeniyi, who disclosed this to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY last weekend, said the move was meant to eradicate allegations of high handedness and  the use of discretionary powers by officers in the issuance of value.

“We are trying to get technical assistance from the customs administration of India. It is an accepted best practice and it is something we are working on,” Adeniyi said.

It would be recalled that the Association of the Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) had at its general meeting held penultimate Tuesday, demanded that the Customs management publish data value of all cargoes on the internet in order to make it accessible to all agents.

According to the association, valuation officers often issue ridiculous value on cargoes based on their discretion, because there is no acceptable value data for imported items.

Explaining the difference between having a published data value and benchmark valuation as introduced by the Service in 2012, but met with stiff opposition by agents, Adeniyi said benchmark was only limited to few imported items, but that the value data publication will serve as a guide for all imported item and establish the basis for which a certain value is arrived at.

“Data value publication is not similar to benchmark. Benchmark was supposed to be a short- term solution to a long-term problem and it didn’t cut across all items, but limited to one or two items because of cases of undervaluation. The value publication is what we call the guider and it will establish the basis for which a value is arrived at. It will make it transparent and it will help eradicate allegation of highhandedness and use of discretionary powers on the part of officers,” he said