Even with the fine-tuning of VIN VALUATION, importers and their Freight Agents are going through torrid times as they have been left no choice than to abandon their vehicles at the port terminals to accumulate demurrage.
TodayNews gathered this much at a Roundtable organised by the Maritime Journalists Associated Of Nigeria(MAJAN) yesterday in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Clinton Okoro, a member of the Association of Professional Freight forwarders and Logistics in Nigeria (APFFLON), Said the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), should have been patient to test run this VIN VALUATION but they seem to be in a mighty hurry. Though they gave a 3 Months window after the uproar that greeted the introduction but the way they made us believe it will work, is not the way it is working. It is not okay with us, it is causing a lot of delays and this delays come with lots of storage, they are not giving any letters of explanation to the terminal managers,” Okoro lamented.
However, when asked what he thinks should be done, Okoro says, “2 widows should be created in the VIN VALUATION System, the manual system and the Standard, before they gradually harmonise.”
Also giving his views on the effects and workability of the VIN VALUATION, Mr. Iyke Umelo, a member of APFFLON, said of VIN VALUATION, “it is true that Federal Ministry of Finance through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) introduced this new system to facilitate trade, it is also true that we applauded them when they started talking about it because we were seeking a way of harmonising clearance procedure to save time and eliminate bottlenecks but we have found out that there are so many contradictions in valuation, some vehicles like Toyota Corolla, Mercedes, have not been imputed into the system.”
The major problem he says, “is non Standard value, this is because of the delay and high duty on the non Standard rated vehicles, because of this, the Car Dealers, the Freight Forwarders, Importers are having it rough,” he explained.
Furthermore, he says, ” Everyone is complaining about this high valuation, people are abandoning their Vehicles at the Ports, Terminal Operators are not also having it easy with congestion high up in their terminals, even the NCS officers are not Left out of the lamentation because there is a drop in revenue generation and meeting their Target is becoming Herculean. People are suspicious that the NCS is systematically phasing out the importation of overaged vehicles that’s why the difference between Toyota Corolla of 2016 and that of 2013 is very wide,” he said.
For Fwdr. George Okafor of the National Association Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), “this high valuation of vehicles is a result of NCS trying to meet the target given it, also it is trying to plug the gap left by the 20 percent duty drop.
The value of Mercedes and Corolla are very outrageous, if you are on 846, they use the new template, from 2003 – 2013 the cost is about 2.8million Naira, as against 390,000 – 400,000 and most owners now abandon these vehicles, even though consultations and meetings are on-going to find a solution to this anomaly.”
To Mrs Jewel Igwe of NCMDLCA, non Standard value is the cause of the outrage, there was no circular to this effect, what we had was 15 years, they said they were going to work with 12 years but they imputed 9 years into their system.”
She called on the authorities to adjust the duty and look into the age limit.
According to her the letter of error in valuation is heaping to the roof tops in most places but at TinCan, the CAC Code is coming to the rescue because it is routed straight to the Controller instead of the registry. The Customs say there’s no going back on VIN VALUATION and we agree with them because of our experiences with Customs ad-hoc Task forces who extort us on the road.” Asked what the bone of contention is, he explained, “the cause of controversy is that NCS is resorting to historical value to calculate values, they complained that people are abusing the code.”
Non Standard according to Monije Joy of ANLCA, “is a way the NCS encourages corruption because when you write to negotiate, there is human contact and that’s where corruption is aided. She called on the NCS to factor in the 10 percent depreciation value.
VIN VALUATION is good with standard valuation but non Standard is rife with corruption because the officers want to see you and negotiate before they write, stopping human contact will solve most of the problems,” she stated.
Going on, she said “there is also discriminatory valuation, where vehicles from Asia are valued higher than same brands from America or Europe, we Agents and our importers need explanations on all these,” she said.