SECTOR INSIGHT 20/05/2022
Customs Remodels VIN Valuation System To Capture Accidented Vehicles, Depreciation In Value
After rigorous engagements with the stakeholders, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has put all in place to implement an updated version of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation system, which will capture accidented vehicles, depreciation in value and other challenges earlier identified by clearing agents.
The service said that redeployment and the implementation of the new VIN valuation system will commence on Monday.
Recall that VIN valuation policy, which was first introduced in January 2022, hiked the duties payable on fairly-used vehicles by more than 200 per cent and was resisted by clearing agents.
This led to protests that had the ports and activities around it shut down for about two weeks, and created a backlog of uncleared vehicles at the PTML and Tin-Can Island ports, thereby forcing the NCS to suspend the policy for 30 days
Addressing stakeholders in Apapa on Thursday, the Area Controller of Apapa Customs Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf described the VIN valuation policy as a testament that Customs will not stay static as the world evolves with automation.
“The world is going digital. We cannot afford to stay behind. We have done a lot of checks and control on VIN. Automation of Customs process is very essential and valuation of vehicles is not out of place.
“Today, agents can sit down in their bedroom and process clearance of their cargoes. The new digital PAAR is another good development. Nigeria is not going to stay behind watching people take advantage of digital technology for business facilitation,” he said.
He, however, noted that if there is anything in need of adjustment, the NCS wis also willing to make the necessary adjustment on the VIN valuation.
Meanwhile, the Controller of Valuation of NCS, Comptroller Anthony Udenze stated that the VIN valuation system is aimed at facilitating trade and the new values have been unified and simplified.
“Right now, we have cases where values given by various commands are different. There has been cry for unification of value from the valuation unit and the Service deemed it fit to listen to this cry.”
“Remember that two months ago we deployed this valuation and there was outcry. The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) in his magnanimity listened to the cry of stakeholders and set up a committee to review the process and the committee worked assiduously to come up with something that would be acceptable by all.
“We drew up officers from various Command’s valuation unit and today we can tell you that what we will present today will be acceptable globally.”
According to him, the new VIN valuation system considered all options, including; accidented vehicles and savage vehicles were all built-in, even as uniformity in values from all the area commands has also been achieved.
He revealed that the members of House of Representatives also reviewed the new VIN valuation system and approved it.
Speaking on behalf of freight agent, Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto, stressed the need for compliance by freight forwarders.
Farinto urged Customs to guarantee auto-release of vehicles, noting that auto-release is the right of agents and customs should also do the needful so that port business operate smoothly.
He condemned the Customs approach of arbitrarily increasing the value of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) as it isn’t professional and it encourages stakeholders to attempt to circumvent the process.