Agents accuse Customs of breaking law

Bisola David
Bisola David
Kaduna customs hits N16.3bn revenue in 2023

Licensed customs officers have criticized the Nigeria Customs Service for their alleged failure to properly utilize the 846 platforms for clearing automobiles with non-standard Vehicle Identification Numbers.

Remember that the NCS created the 846 platform for clearing autos with non-standard VINs? The platform, which was first used at the service’s Tincan Island Command last year, was recently extended to the Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited Command.

The Punch reported that Customs, however, stated in a July 17 circular headlined “Value cut on extended procedure code 846” and signed by Assistant Comptroller General Mba Musa that a new pattern of infringement had been found where the value permitted on the assessment slip for the extended procedure code 846 was not thoroughly utilized.

In response to the claim, the Chief Executive Officer of Sikremaster Logistics Limited, Mr. Remilekun Sikiru, questioned why the service was having trouble uploading the VIN for every car.

“Just a quick reminder that in order to view the document, which clearly states that there is no smoke without fire, the 846 code processing its online platform must first be validated and authorized by the direct trade input’s valuation unit.”

He claimed that NCS was complaining unfairly since revenue had drastically decreased as a result of a significant increase in customs duties and dollar exchange floating.

Additionally, the CEO of Multimodal Cargo Shipping, Owoseni Azeez, claimed that customs was causing delays in the procedures.

He declared, “The VIN value is a welcome notion for us all in the industry, especially when it was claimed to lessen the human interface. But when some chosen cars are entered into the VIN value system while others are left up to the valuation officers in the command, customs themselves impede the entire process.”

A different licensed customs agent, Mr. Ademola Ogunyomi, said: “I’m curious about how clearing agencies will be able to manipulate the actual duty rate more easily in the absence of customs officers.

“Before approval, a customs officer processes Code 846 from the controller office to the valuation unit. You will now go for inspection and release by a superior customs official, often an assistant controller or deputy controller with an authorized password, after the amount has been issued, captured, and paid, he said.”

He claimed that the final stage is the Customs exit gate, which involves a series of certifications from numerous units and value checks before the documents can be duly signed to be able to exit the gate.

“Customs issue value, release the cargo, and have it exited by the same customs. It is important to search for variances among the customs agency and its officers.

“Due to a lack of funding brought on by the significant amount of duty we are required to pay, there are numerous outstanding assessments that need to be resolved. Because of the significant decline in importing activity, importers are sobbing while clearing agents are jobless,” he stated.

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