… Sensitizes members on VREG application
… Seeks reduction of import levy to 5%
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called on its members all the freight forwarders and indeed importers to embrace the improved Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation as deployed by the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the 20th May, 2022 describing it as a way to go in customs administration.
The Public Relations Officer, ANLCA, Tincan Island port chapter, Onome Joy Monije who made the in a chat with newsmen on the deployment of the improved VIN Valuation in Lagos recently observed that with this development, NCS planned to eliminate interface between its operatives and licensed customs agents in the course of vehicle clearing thereby ending corruption in the system.
Monije recalled that the leadership of ANLCA had been in the forefront of clamouring for a system that would provide a uniform value for all the Vehicles imported into the country irrespective of the port or terminal it was cleared adding that VIN Valuation was an answer to ANLCA’s prayers.
According to her, “Now, if they give you the value of Sienna 2020 model for one million in Tincan, in Apapa, Kano, Port-Harcourt, it is the same value. So, the issue of FOU intercepting your vehicle on the highway on the ground that you have a compromised value is over. Once, we the stakeholders are able to do the right thing, that would be a thing of the past.
“What we are trying to do, especially those of us in Tincan and PTML that usually witness high volume of vehicles, is to inform our stakeholders so that it doesn’t sound new to them. VIN Valuation is taking off by the end of today, the 20th May, 2022 and part of the things we want them to know is that age limit for vehicles under this VIN Valuation regime is twelve years. So, any vehicle from the upwards of 2013 are vehicles that are acceptable as government policy. So, importers are not encouraged to bring in vehicles below 2013 model.
“Also, before you can access VIN Valuation, you have to process your VREG and one of the things you need to know is that if there’s an error in your VREG, you cannot scale through to take delivery of your vehicle. So, it means, whosoever is hiring IT staff should be able to hire IT staff that is good with the system because if you pay for your VREG, pay customs duty and what you have on ground didn’t tally with what you have in your documents, it means you cannot take delivery.
“So, that is why we found it necessary to let our people know so that they should not start running helter skelter. They should ensure that the information they supply for their VREG is correct. Thank God we have also a Controller that is IT savvy. He is running an open door policy, he was part of those, from what he told us, that put together the VIN Valuation. So, he has told us that once we do the right thing, nobody is going to harass us anymore.
“He further advised that we should not do non standard VIN for standard VIN and vice versa. You have your seventeen digits which is standard and as soon as you input the value, you are good to go. For now, it’s not fully automated, you still have to go to releasing seat for them to ensure that what you have on paper and what you declared agree and once what you declared is right, your vehicle will be released and you take delivery within 24 hours.
“Where you now go and manipulate your standard VIN to non standard, you will start having issues. Non standard VIN should not be taken as standard and standard should not be carried as non standard.”
She, however, pointed out that the customs management while advising them to be compliant and make genuine declaration promising that as the VIN Valuation progresses, there will be adjustments so that between now and the next three months there may be need full automation having seen their level of compliance.
Going forward, Monije gave kudos to the management of the Nigeria Customs Service adding that they had done a good job.
“This is what our leaders for some years now have been clamouring for and we can say that almost 95% of their recommendations were put into consideration in this revised VIN Valuation. So, we want to say it was a good one and part of what our leaders were insisting on was that they should to sensitize stakeholders before take off and you know that for some months, we have be demanding for VIN Valuation and they also worked to beat the deadline set for them. We want to say that they did well for taking all their (stakeholders) observations into consideration”, she stated.
“If you look at this VIN Valuation, for us, it’s not as if there’s increase in value, from the demonstration we had yesterday, we found out that some value were not as high as we expected. Some value are within the range and those rebates we actually clamoured for to have, there are rebates on the demo they showed.
“The only concern outside the VIN Valuation is the issue of levy but for the VIN Valuation, we have no issue. VIN Valuation for us, even tomorrow, is too far. If we had validated it to yesterday, it would have been better for us. Our concerns is the levy. It is not for us as customs agents because we are in-between the customs and the importers. We know it is government policy and not customs policy. Just like VREG, when you have network issue, you have nobody to hold.
“However, from the angle of where my Chairman, Mr. Ojo Peter Akintoye and especially the National Secretariat of ANLCA are coming from, we are saying, if government wants us to know that they care about the suffering of the masses, they should reduce it to at least 5%.
“We are also saying that if the federal government wants to introduce any new policy, they should give time, at least 90 days so that the people will be aware and plan appropriately.
“We are appealing, since our national secretariat has written letters to the Federal Ministry of Finance and to the National Assembly, when it comes to levy, we cannot fight the government but if they change it from 15% to 5%, it will be a win-win for all of us. It would have been okay if levy is 5% so that we are sure we won’t have junk vehicles all over Nigeria”, she added.
Photo: Onome Joy Monije, Public Relations Officer, ANLCA, Tincan Island port chapter.
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