• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Import tariff to rise as Customs adjusts exchange rate to N1, 356.883/$

Import tariff to rise as Customs adjusts exchange rate to N1, 356.883/$

Importers will going forward require more money to clear their goods from the nation’s seaport as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has on Friday 02, 2024 adjusted the exchange rate for cargo clearing at the port.

According to information obtained from the Customs official website, the exchange rate for cargo clearing was adjusted from N951.941 per dollar to N1,356.883/$.

This adjustment in the FX rate for cargo clearing at the port, which is coming up close to two months after it was last adjusted in December 2023, and according to port users, would have huge implications on the prices of imported goods already being pressured by surging inflation.

It is the fourth exchange rate adjustment the port industry has witnessed after the Service started the implementation of the floating foreign exchange rate regime by the Central Bank of Nigeria in July 2023 and the fourth since the coming into power of the new government.

The Customs had on June 24, 2023, adjusted the exchange rate from N422.30/$ to N589/$ and on July 6, 2023, it was adjusted to N770.88/$, on November 14, 2023, it was adjusted to N783.174/$, in December it was adjusted to N951.941/$ and now it has been moved to N1, 356.883/$.

Read also: Manufacturers’ inventories to decline over high import tariffs

BusinessDay understands that the exchange rate was adjusted on Friday by Customs on the instructions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it is expected to take immediate effect.

“The FX rates of naira against the dollar and exchange rate for clearing imports imposed by the Nigeria Customs is very high. All these are leading to a decline in the volume of imports,” said Tony Anakebe, a licensed Customs agent.

He said importers are now under pressure because they buy dollars at a very high rate and source a lot of money to clear the goods when they arrive at the port even when it is also difficult to secure bank loans to fund import business.

Adewale Adeniyi, comptroller general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said early this year that the Service will use only the exchange rate on the official Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) window for clearing of imported goods and would not engage in arbitrary increase or decrease in the exchange rate.

He said the policy of merging the multiple exchange rate windows has repercussions on the operations of the Customs.

He said that the Nigeria Customs Service does not independently fix its exchange rate for goods clearance but only updates its system based on what is on the CBN’s official window.

However, the new exchange rate is still N56.242 less than the N1413.125 per dollar in the CBN official window, which shows that the rate is slowly reaching Customs’ new policy target.