The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have said that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is selective in nature, as it works well with Standard Chasis Vehicles while not working well with Non-Standard Chasis Vehicles. This is even as the clearing agents threatened to sue the Federal Government V-Reg over network glitches noticed on the Customs VIN Valuation policy implementation.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Thursday, the acting President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto, explained that some classes of Mercedes Benz vehicles have not been captured by the Customs VIN Valuation policy.
According to Dr Farinto, “It’s been a month since the Customs introduced the VIN Valuation policy for imported vehicles. We all expected that within 90 days if such policy is working well or not, we will all know.
“Having analysed the VIN Valuation in the last one month, we want to commend our members for their perseverance. It has not been easy. It has been very rough adapting to its challenges. The very first few weeks of the policy, everybody was confused, but after some adjustments, we adapted to it.
“While the VIN valuation policy has been effective on the standard Chasis vehicles, it has failed on the Non-Standard Chasis Vehicles.
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“In-vehicle Importation, we have two types of vehicles; the standard Chasis Vehicles and the non-standard Chasis Vehicles. For the Standard Chasis Vehicles, we have been having very hitch-free operations with regards VIN Valuation policy. However, for the Non-Standard Chasis Vehicles, this has not been the case. We have been having issues with these types of vehicles.
“For clarity’s sake, Standard Chasis Vehicles are vehicles that were manufactured between 2011 to 2013. For this type of vehicle, the moment you key in your Bill of Laden and Chasis number, the VIN system will give you the value to pay for the vehicle.
“However, for Non-Standard Chasis Vehicles, we have been having issues with such vehicles. These are vehicles that came in from Europe and far Asia. These are vehicles whose Chasis number does not fall within the VIN Valuation system.
“The procedure has always been that once any agents apply on the VIN system, and it gives error outcome, the agent applies to the Customs Area Controller of such command who in turn minutes such jobs to his Valuation Department for value identification. With this situation, the value for such Non-Standard Chasis Vehicles is done at the discretion of the Customs Command Valuation Unit.
“So for a 2007 or 2009 vehicle, what Non-Standard Chasis Vehicles pay as duty in port terminals like PTML will be different from what is paid as duty at port terminals like Five Star Logistics Terminal.
“I want to commend the Customs who are allowing these Non-Chasis vehicles to be cleared because the Federal Government policy on vehicles to come into the country starts from 2011 or there about. If the Customs wants to implement the Federal Government policy, then vehicles that come in before 2011 will either be confiscated or seized.
“Again, there are some categories of vehicles that have not been factored under the Customs VIN Valuation policy. Some Mercedes Benz, some ML, some X-Class have not been factored into the VIN Valuation policy.
“When the Customs VIN was being conceptualised, I was one of those that asked that we should have a pilot scheme. But my advice was not heeded and Customs went ahead to begin full implementation. Now, there are some categories of vehicles that have not been captured under the VIN Valuation policy.
“Another issue with VIN has to do with Customs officers who extort our members during VIN Valuation processes. We are compiling names of these Customs officers who are in the habit of frustrating the Customs VIN Valuation policy. These officers are in the habit of extorting our members, despite them going through the VIN Valuation and paying all necessary duties given to them. We are compiling their names and it will be forwarded to the Customs Comptroller General very soon.
“We are also using this medium to condemn any freight forwarder or clearing agents who want to circumvent the Customs VIN Valuation. We expect all clearing agents to be compliant to the Customs VIN Valuation.
“I want.to commend the Customs for their prompt response to issues regarding the VIN Valuation policy. Once I complained to them, they quickly rectify any issues that have been noticed on the system.
“In this regard, the Customs Area Controller of the Tin-Can Island Customs Command, Controller Oloyede is highly commended. He has been up and doing and has created a lot of Help Desks to make sure that the VIN Valuation does not have hitches in his command.
“For other Terminals like the PTML, we will soon be releasing the names of Customs officers frustrating the VIN Valuation.
“Again, I want to state here that the V-Reg is also frustrating the VIN Valuation policy. V-Reg is a Federal Government arrangement, but it is frustrating the smooth implementation of the VIN Valuation. We might have to sue the V-Reg if these persist.”