APFFLON welcomes improved VIN Valuation policy, says issues leading to protests, withdrawal of services addressed


… Harps on professionalism, integrity of process

The African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has commended the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over the re-launch of the improved Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation policy which is expected to come into effect today.

The Chairman of APFFLON, Tincan Island chapter, Mr. Emeka Godfrey Nwosu who spoke exclusively to Primetime Reporters shortly after a stakeholders’ meeting with the customs authority at Apapa Customs command on Thursday hinted that the issues that led to the protests and subsequently, withdrawal of services as well as the issues that had been lingering on over non conformity of value had been addressed by the new package.

“We give it to customs, it’s a big kudos to customs. For the very first time, they are coming up with something, having applied all characters of value consideration and value negotiations, all the six value check protocols have been factored into it – artificial intelligence, they used both the final and middle information to arrive at what was presented today. Personally and from where we are, we give it all to customs for having done this much well”, he said.

Giving details of the meeting, Nwosu who is a Knight of St. Mulumba in the Catholic Church disclosed that after about two months suspension of the VIN Valuation application regime, the re-launch will take effect from the 20th of May which is today adding that capturing of vehicle values from Saturday morning would be based on the new protocol of VIN Valuation.

He explained that the Service, in the improved VIN Valuation policy took into consideration factors it did not consider before rolling out the first trial such as depreciation value, salvage and accidented vehicle and what determines a vehicle to be referred to accidented.

“From the explanation there, the least they used for trial was 2013. Before now, there were fears of models, series, year, taking for instance the conventional vehicles that the Nigerian consumers go for like Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry which before now, application for value has always taken into consideration the series for instance Toyota Camry SE but now, customs takes the least series of Toyota to be applied based on year of manufacture. The difference is just year of manufacture, so there’s nothing like Camry SLE 2018 and so on. It’s now Camry 2018; Toyota Camry, Toyota Sienna and so on. It’s only year difference as all the prefixes and suffixes will not apply at least for now.

“It was emphatically said that with this pilot scheme, it will not apply but with progressive graduation of these protocols it will start gradually. So, it’s not out of place for us to expect in the nearest future some reviews but the good news is that the value as we speak has been fed into the system. It’s not as if you have value of your choice to use, no! All value as applied to each category of vehicle has been input into the system, all you need to do is to feed the system with the correct information.

“Standard VIN numbers have already been assigned their duty as applicable while non standard VIN numbers will have to go through application to the Customs Area Controller of the command through the Valuation officer for value to be given and to do that, they are going to subject the vehicle to examination before issuance of value. That means you can’t apply now and get value for non standard VIN numbers.

“But if you have standard VIN from America, you are good to go, all you need to do is to feed the system with the correct information as error of trying to pretend or to manipulate standard VIN to be non standard because you want to get lower value will lead to chains of unresolvable problems because once you put it and the system turns out and reject it, it will affect even the registration of the vehicle. Once you enter a wrong VIN of a vehicle, to reverse it will be difficult. So, we were all encouraged to be integrity conscious in our declarations so that we can have reasonable level of compliance. It was a good outing”, he submitted.

Speaking on the mileage of the vehicle, Nwosu who is also a former Secretary of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders ( NAGAFF), Tincan Island port chapter said, “the status quo as provided in the Act should be applied. Any vehicle below 6,000 miles is considered a brand new vehicle even if it’s 2013 model. If you like let it be 2014 model, provided the mileage is less than 6,000. However, vehicles with mileage of 6,000 and above is considered as used vehicles.”

While informing that it was said that nobody would intercept or delay the movement of any vehicle that was duly released under the new VIN Valuation regime, he equally added that there’s no provision for auto release of used vehicles especially in this present situation where the country was battling with cases of insecurity.

“And again, even if you have 2021 model of vehicle in a consignment that has 2013, 2014 vehicles, you don’t expect express release because it’s not in compliance with the age of those vehicles as provided”, he further stated.

On what determines what constitutes accidented vehicles, he said, “the chassis number and the airbag must be evidently affected and it has to be subjected to physical examination before value is issued. You don’t just say you have accidented vehicle, you have to attach the salvage certificate as well as the insurance certificate and then, you apply for value.

“VREG has been factored. As soon as you are making input, having applied for VREG and certificate issued to you, in the process of computing your data into the new protocol, when it gets to VREG, just go to the file and put VREG in place and if there are differences, that declaration is automatically having problem and to retrieve it, you will need to go back to the managers of VREG or you go back to the NICIS II managers and you know what that means in system procedure.”

On his general assessment of the meeting, the APFFLON chieftain said, “In all, as far as we have seen it there, it will be a smooth take off. You know, the Nigeria Customs Service will always introduce new system after all when they introduced the Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), the same presentation was made assuring that PAAR is a final document but today, PAAR has turned to become advisory document. So, I hope that this VIN Valuation by its protocols and by its provisions as narrated will be the final solution to disparities in issues of value.

“But the common thing that is certain today is that whatever value you pay in Tincan Island port, if you take the same vehicle from Onne, the same value you will pay, in Apapa port, the same value you will pay. So, you don’t need to go to any customs officer now to apply for value except for the non Standard VIN.

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