How VIN affected vehicle importation – Customs

Joy Onuorah
Joy Onuorah

The Nigeria Customs Service has said that the implementation of the Vehicles Identification Number for clearing imported vehicles resulted in a 40% decrease in imported vehicles in 2022 through its Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited Command.

The acting Assistant Comptroller General and the command’s outgoing Controller, Suleiman Bomai, said this while outlining the command’s actions for the year to reporters.

According to him, the command generated N229 billion in revenue for the federal government in 2022.

He pointed out that the amount was 96% of the command’s N238 billion income target for the time period under consideration.

He added that the income was N5 billion more than the N224 billion in income gathered during the same period in 2021.

“There was a drop in 2022; there was a drop of almost 40 per cent of roll-on-roll-off importation. The shipping lines can also confirm that there was a drop but despite the drop, look at the revenue we got.”

“In the year under review about 80 per cent of the cargoes handled in the terminal were vehicles. As a customs command, we employed dialogue with our strategic stakeholders on the need to understand the basis of VIN valuation and engaged them severally to solicit their cooperation.

He continued, “We also strengthened our relationship with our strategic partners who are sister government agencies in the port. Our robust interface with private sector stakeholders and government agencies is ongoing in 2023 and beyond in line with our extant standard operating procedures.

“It is important to state that implementation of all government policies and directives are ongoing with increasing degree of compliance being recorded so far.”

However, one of the command’s main challenges in 2022, according to Bomai, was the lack of scanners.

“The absence of non-functional scanners in the command is one of our major challenges. This will reduce the issue of 100 per cent physical examination of containerised cargo.

“As the customs modernisation project progresses, we are hoping to have a scanner for faster cargo examination. Available space within the command is very limited and we are managing that currently.

“We anticipate that in future the PTML management and our various bonded warehouse operators will expand our spaces to enhance customs operation,” he added.

According to Bomai, the command also handled 178 metric tonnes of free on board exports of goods like cocoa, sesame seeds, palm oil, and other food items in 2022.

“Compared to 2021 when we had a total tonnage of about 147 metric tons, with a total FOB value of $1.4bn.

“In the year 2022, the command generated total revenue of N229bn. This represents about 96 per cent of the revenue target of N238bn set for 2021 adopted by the command in 2022.

“This shows an increase of N5bn when compared to N224bn collected within the period under review in 2021. This represents an increase of 2.2 per cent.

“Despite the recorded downtime occasioned by agents strike and alleged inability by some importers to clear their vehicles from our control, we were able to surpass 2021 revenue collection last year.”

The command was additionally able to unravel attempts to sneak weapons and ammunition into the country hidden in imported vehicles following diligent inspection of every piece of cargo and using intelligence.

He added, “In the period under review, four seizures were recorded which include 1X40ft container containing three vehicles used to conceal two fire arms, One used Ford Edge containing fire arm and 30 rounds of live cartridges; one used Toyota sienna containing fire arm; one used Toyota corolla containing 90 rounds of live ammunition. A total of six suspects were arrested in connection with these seizures and have been granted administrative bail. The total duty paid was N36m”.

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