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Monday, 22 September 2014

BUSINESS & IMPORT

Nigerian Govt reneges on promise, collects 70% tariff on vehicles
By David Ogah

Clearing agents, freight forwarders protest, Customs blames ministry • Stakeholders say it's ploy by NCS to meet N1.2tr revenue target 

CONTRARY to the promise of the Federal Government to suspend the collection of a new tariff on imported vehicles till January 1, 2015, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has actually begun the implementation of the regime. This development has drawn the ire of stakeholders, including clearing agents and freight forwarders at the Lagos ports. 



The new regime made up of 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy has put the total tariff on new cars at 70 per cent. Two months ago, the Federal Government suspended the implementation of the new tariff till January 2015.

The clearing agents and freight forwarders who at the weekend withdrew their services at the ports decried what they described as hurried implementation of the 35 per cent levy on imported vehicles by the NCS.

The NCS's authorities in Lagos said the implementation was not on used vehicles popularly known as 'tokunbo' but on brand new imported vehicles, adding that they were empowered to begin the implementation two days ago. But port users believe that the implementation was a ploy by the customs to meet their revenue target of N1.2 trillion for this year.

"It is true that we were asked to suspend the implementation till next year, but the same Federal Ministry of Finance sent another circular a few days ago that we can now collect the new tariff on new vehicles so as to protect the local manufacturers that are investing heavily in assembly plants in Nigeria. We are here to implement the government's directives", said an authoritative customs source yesterday.

The chairman of Port and Terminal Multipurpose Services Ltd (PTML) chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Bola Adeniran, said the agents were taken aback when they got to work to see that the 35 per cent level had been inputted into the customs system.

According to him, the implementation of the 35 per cent level was scheduled to take off in January 2015 but was hurriedly implemented by the customs high command without consulting or informing them.

"Agents are not satisfied with the 35 per cent levy that was hurriedly implemented because the government had said it would start by January but it was a surprise when we all came to work this morning to see that the customs have already started implementing it," he said.

The customs said they were only collecting the new tariff on new vehicles and that the former directive on used vehicles remained.

A customs source said: "The implementation of 35 per cent levy was on new and not used vehicles because implementation for used vehicles will be next year as directed in the new circular from the ministry."

With the implementation of the 35 per cent levy in addition to the 35 per cent import duty, the effective tariff on imported vehicles now stands at 70 per cent.

The new vehicle tariff is part of the Federal Government's new national automotive policy aimed at protecting the local manufacturers from foreign competition.


The National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) last week described the policy as anti-people with the potential of increasing the hardship faced by Nigerians.

With the implementation of the new duty and other tariffs a new car that was sold for N3 million before the Federal Government introduced the new automotive policy may now cost N5.1 million.

Under the new automotive scheme, the Federal Government in 2013 raised the duty and levy payable on imported new and used cars from 20 per cent to 70 per cent, pointing out that the initiative was aimed at encouraging local production of automobile.

But experts and various stakeholders have repeatedly cautioned the Federal Government against the danger of implementing the policy without first putting in place necessary infrastructure such as uninterrupted electricity supply and good road networks.

They said that without adequate facilities, the cost of production may push the cost of locally assembled cars beyond the reach of most Nigerians.

The National Automotive Council explained recently that Fully Built Units (FBU) cars falling under H.S.Code 87.03 would attract a duty of 35 per cent and 35 per cent levy.

"All FBU import (except used vehicles) with Bill of Lading dated not later March 31, 2014 and arrival date not later than June 2014 will pay the old rate, irrespective of the dates of opening of form 'M' and the letter of credit.

"Used vehicles will be imported at 35 per cent without levy till June 30th, 2014 (Now December 31, 2014) renewable as required by the Ministry/NAC, to manage market conditions.

"Fully Built Unit (FBU) Commercial vehicles falling under H.S. Code 87.02, 87.04, 87.06, 87.16, shall attract 35 per cent duty without levy.

"Fully built tractor under H.S. Code 87.01 shall attract 0 per cent duty without levy, until local capacity is ascertained by NAC," the council said.

On the other hand, local assembly plants would import their Completely Knocked Down (CKD) at zero per cent duty, Semi Knocked Down (SKDI) at five per cent duty and Semi Knocked Down (SKD11) at 10 per cent import duty.

According to NAC, all machinery and equipment imported for the purpose of vehicle assembly shall attract zero per cent import duty and be free of Value Added Tax (VAT).

The President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licenced Customs Agent (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, said recently that the policy was capable of encouraging diversion of cargoes to neighbouring countries.

He urged the government to put in place the necessary platform and should allow the proposed assembly plants to start production before the implementation of the new tariff regime. 


GUARDIAN

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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