• Monday, April 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Respite as CBN, again, slashes Customs FX duty rate by 3%

No more foreign currency collateral for naira loans — CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has further slashed the exchange rate for computing Customs duties at the nation’s seaports by three percent, a development that has brought some reprieve to importers.

The Customs FX duty rate was reviewed downward from N1, 448.386/$ to N1, 405.466/$ on Tuesday, March 26, according to information obtained from the official trade portal of the Nigeria Customs Service.

This may have been aided by the continuing strengthening of the naira against the US dollar.

BusinessDay checks show that as of March 25, foreign exchange rate closed at N1,408.04/$ at the NAFEM, signifying naira appreciation at the official foreign exchange markets as the apex bank supplies dollars at N1,251 to the Bureau De Change operators.

The slash in rate represents a three percent reduction compared to the old rate of N1,448.386/$ used for the opening of Form M as of Monday, March 26, and a decrease of N42.92 on a dollar needed to clear goods from the port.

With the slash in rate, importers opening Form M today Tuesday, March 26 for importation will have some measures of relief in terms of the money required to pay import duties compared to the importer who opened Form M on Monday, March 25.

This is in line with the apex bank’s new directive that Customs should be using the rate on the date of submitting Form M for calculating import duties.

Despite the CBN directive on the FX rate on Form M, shippers have raised concerns over the failure of Customs to commence the implementation of the central bank’s directive of using the exchange rate at the submission of Form M to calculate import duties.

Innocent Akuvue, president general of the National Shippers Association of Nigeria (NASAN), said in Lagos recently that Customs is still using an exchange rate different from the one on Form M to calculate import duties.

He said the inability of the Customs to implement the directive was impacting negatively on the cost of doing business at the port. He also blamed the accelerating prices of commodities in Nigeria on the fluctuating exchange rate for computing Customs duties.