Agents have protested over Nigeria Customs Service’s decision to raise duty on imported vehicles by 10 per cent.
This is as freight forwarders said there may be congestion of imported vehicles at the nation’s seaports as a result of the move.
The agents, in exclusive interview with Punch in Lagos on Sunday, 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 Deputy President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nnadi Ugochukwu, wondered why the NCS started a new financial calendar in January when this was meant to be done 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 expressed fear that the move would lead to a drop in vehicle imports.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Port & Terminal Multipurpose Limited chapter of the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, Geoffrey Nwosu, said,
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.”
Meanwhile, a licensed Customs agent, Mr Timothy Adebowale, queried while the service failed to effect depreciation value rate on 2014 vehicles.
He said that the service was meant to effect yearly depreciation value on vehicles.
Reacting, the National Public Relations Officer, NCS, Timi Bomodi, said the development was based on government fiscal policy on age limit.
“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.