By Godfrey Bivbere & Godwin Oritse
THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has introduced a uniform import duty rate on imported vehicles based on ex-factory price in all its commands, a development that eliminates the indiscriminate imposition of duties.
The duty rate before the newly introduced ex-factory rate was between 10 and 35 per cent depending on the age of the vehicle. The age limit for any vehicle to be imported to the country isÂ at present 10 years.
The value to be paid as duty on vehicles before now was also calculatedÂ Â indiscriminately by customs officers carrying out examination.
In a Memorandum with reference NCS/T$T/I&E/067S.4/VOL.X addressed to all Zonal Coordinators, all Area Comptrollers and all Valuation officers, it was directed that all commands are to comply with the newly introduced ex-factory price for Customs duty collection.
Confirming the development, the Service spokesman, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, told Vanguard that the idea behind the memo is to ensure that duties on vehicles are uniform in every ports.
â€œThe Memo is to ensure the enthronement of a uniform duty regime on vehicles in all ports, Customs commands, and this is because there has been a variance in the calculation of duty on vehicles,â€ he stated.
The Memo also contained a progressive reduction of import duty on vehicles of various age – ranging from three months to four years and above.
Vehicles above three months with Odometer reading above 3,000 miles but not above one year will attract a ten per cent duty rate, while vehicles more than one year but not above two years will equally attract a duty rate of 20 per cent.
Vehicles more than two years old, but not above three years will have Customs duty calculated at 30 per cent, and 40 per cent for vehicles more than three years but not more than four years old, while vehicles more than four years old and above will attract a duty rate of 50 per cent.
Part of the Memo reads â€œConsequent upon directive/approval given, I am directed to forward herewith motor vehicle Ex-factory Price (In United State Dollar) for Customs Duties Collection.
â€œYou are required to take note of allowance for age of vehicles.
â€œThe Importers of used Vehicles must produce documentary evidence showing model and cubic capacity vehicles which should be obtained from the vendor.
â€œYou are hereby directed to comply forthwith to avoid indiscriminate collection of duties on motor vehicles.
â€œThis supercede the earlier one sentâ€.
It would be recalled that Nigeria signed the international convention on agreement of Customs Valuation which is the general agreement on Trade and Tariff.
The convention is the treatment of Customs valuation which is based on the principle Transaction value, Identical value method,Â Computed value method or Sale value, Similar value method, and Deductive value method.
The principles of arriving at import duty of vehicles includes the country of manufacture, cubic capacity, age rebate, wear and tear of vehicle percentage duty and ex-factory price.
Meanwhile, the fear of an impending sack of 43 senior staff of the apex maritime regulatory agency, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has gripped the agency following information that the minister of transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, has given the new boss, Mr. Raymond Temisanre Omatseye, the matching order to professionalize the agency.
Vanguard gathered that the new NIMASA helmsman has already penciled down the names of Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and Directors who are to be shown the way out as part of the re-structuring to be carried out.
According to the source only two of the existing 45 Directors are likely to survive the expected purge.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the agency, Hajia Lami Tumaka, said â€œI am not aware of any such exercise. I am not sure it is true.â€
However, credence was given to the information when the new NIMASA boss told members of management team at their first meeting that his priority would be the professionalization and modernization of the agency.
He noted that his administration would be committed to result oriented actions that would include far reaching consultations to translate Nigeriaâ€™s economic maritime potentials into a powerhouse to be reckoned with.
According to him, â€œGrowing indigenous capacity through the full implementation of Cabotage; facilitating tonnage volume, and positioning the maritime industry as a major contributor to federal revenue and national development are the focus of our administration. These programmes will be performance driven, value centric and impactful.â€
The NIMASA DG also declared that his administration will pursue a robust set of strategic initiatives aligned to President Umaru Musa Yar Aâ€™duaâ€™s seven point Agenda and the overall thrust of the Federal Ministry of Transport.