Agents protest as customs hike imported vehicle duty

Marcus Amudipe
Marcus Amudipe

Following the Nigeria Customs Service’s decision to increase duty on imported automobiles by 10%, freight forwarders have predicted a congestion at the nation’s seaports due to the influx of imported vehicles.

According to The PUNCH, the agents accused the service of effecting 10 per cent duty increase but failed to apply the 10 per cent yearly depreciation value on imported used vehicles.

The vice president of the National Association of Government-Approved Freight Forwarders, Nnadi Ugochukwu, questioned why the NCS began a new fiscal year in January, when this was supposed to occur in April.

He said, “Importers have to pay based on 2014 model even if the vehicle is a 2008 model. So, It is true the NCS has raised duty to 2014, normally their new calendar is supposed to start by March.

“This has made imported vehicles to become trapped at the port, Customs increased duty by 10 per cent, but refused to implement the 10 per cent annual depreciation.

“So, if you look at it now, you have to pay 10 percent more. It refuses to implement the 10 per cent annual depreciation value on imported used vehicles; they are now making a 10 per cent increase every year”

Nnadi voiced concern that the action might result in a decline in auto imports.

Chairman of the Port & Terminal Multipurpose Limited chapter of the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, Geoffrey Nwosu, also addressed the audience and stated:

He said, “The Customs has hiked their duty to 2014 baseline starting this January. Even when we wanted to clear 2008 we were paying for 2013. The depreciation on it should be automatic.”

Also a certified Customs agent,Timothy Adebowale, questioned why the service was unable to affect the depreciation value rate on 2014 autos.

According to him, the service was created to reduce the value of automobiles’ yearly depreciation.

Rhe National Public Relations Officer for NCS, Timi Bomodi, reacted by stating that the government’s fiscal policy on age limits was the basis for the development.

“Nothing has changed fundamentally from the age limit policy of the Federal Government. I don’t think it is necessary, these people know the rules. We don’t need to start this year like that, people are trying to see that things work out the way it should and if we are trying to see that things work out the way it should, we don’t need to be hitting ourselves over the head, we don’t need all those things. We just need to do our work and at the end of the day if it favors some people fine and if it doesn’t then they should know what the proper thing is” he concluded

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