Car dealers, freight forwarders lament high cost of clearing
Vehicle dealers and freight forwarders have lamented the high cost of clearing at the Tin Can and PTML Ports despite the suspension of the controversial vehicle identification number (VIN) valuation policy.
They expressed fear that the cost of purchasing vehicles may double in the coming months if the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) decides the calculation of duty based on the VIN.
Recall that the NCS had announced 30 days’ suspension of the VIN valuation policy, following an outcry and strike action embarked upon by clearing agents and motor dealers.
The President of the Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria, Metche Nnadiekwe, warned that if the NCS fails to permanently cancel VIN valuation, the cost of purchasing imported vehicles will double.
Nnadiekwe informed that despite the suspension, a Toyota Corolla that is usually cleared for N800,000 before the introduction of the VIN policy at Tin Can port is now being cleared for N1.4 million, describing the situation as worrisome.
“I don’t know why our government enjoys seeing Nigerians in tears. If you force dealers to pay a certain amount of money, they will transfer it to the buyers. The best thing is to cancel VIN valuation completely rather than suspending it for 30 days,” he said.
On his part, the General Secretary of the Car Dealers Association, Theo Olaniran, said the middle class now finds it difficult to afford vehicles while urging the federal government to consider policies that will be favourable to the masses.
Freight forwarders have confirmed that despite VIN suspension, the cost of clearing vehicles has not abated.
The factional Chairman of the Association of National Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tin Can chapter, Mohammed Mojeed, said what clearing agents pay now is about N60, 000 higher than what they used to pay before the introduction of VIN.
“People are trying to comply with what the Customs is giving us now not to lose their goods. We currently have a variation of about N60, 000,” he said.
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