Vehicle clearance at port stalled as Customs agents close shop
Clearing of imported vehicles from the roll-on roll-off terminals at the Tin-Can Island Port has been put on hold as all registered freight forwarding associations operating at the PTML Terminal in Lagos withdrew their services from the port today over the issues associated with the newly introduced Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation System of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
According to them, the new Customs valuation system has been generating wrong and outrageous values for the imported cars, thereby making it difficult for dealers to pay.
The Licensed Customs Agents also said the new Customs valuation system does not have consideration for rebate and depreciation value that are supposed to be given to dented cars.
Oluwole Obey, chairman of ANLCA, PTML chapter, who confirmed the down tooling by the different association, said that the Comptroller-General of Customs has refused to reply to the letter sent by clearing agents to his office on the matter.
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According to him, it was Festus Okun, the Customs Area controller in charge of PTML Command that made an attempt to speak with Licensed Customs Agents on the new Valuation platform.
He further said that the agents are not against the introduction of the VIN Valuation because it is a noble concept that would put an end to corruption involved with vehicle clearance.
He however complained that Customs failed to carry out due diligence before implementation of the policy. He added that the value being issued to be paid on imported vehicles have risen by almost 300percent.
Citing an example, Obey said that with the VIN Valuation, a Toyota Camry car of N1.5million would likely be sold for N5million after imputing the cost of clearing it from the port.
On his part, Ayokunle Sulaiman, spokesman of the PTML chapter of ANLCA, confirmed that Customs agents would go on with the scheduled protest at PTML Terminal.
The associations that jointly embarked on strike include the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) and among others.