VIN valuation’ll increase transparency, revenue, engender predictability – Customs.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation mode being implemented will increase transparency, raise revenue collection and engender predictability.
Comptroller Festus Okun, Area Controller, Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command made this known in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
Okun described the improved mode of duty collection on vehicular cargo as being in line with modernisation of the service processes.
He said it would bring about uniformity of value across all customs commands in Nigeria.
According to him, it will eradicate human contact, remove discretionary duty value borne out of sentiments and address the problem of having variations in value of same vehicle model and age in various commands of NCS.
While urging importers, licensed customs agents and freight forwarders to open up their minds to the new reality, Okun said it would not only increase collection but facilitate trade by saving time.
“Licenced customs agents should not to be caught on the wrong side of the law, as the robust audit system in the service will unveil infractions and demand for revenue evaded.
“With the VIN valuation, longer time hitherto spent on raising value will be saved and more importation processed within short time,” he said.
Okun also advised them to embrace the change, as efforts had begun to enlighten them on the VIN.
He said a recent stakeholders meeting held with the port users at PTML on Feb 15 was targeted at keeping them abreast with the new policy on valuation for imported vehicles into Nigeria.
“I will now relate VIN to some of the core principles of trade facilitation. Like, you can look at the trade facilitation agreement and the Kyoto Convention; what are they all saying?
“It’s about processes and procedures that need to be simplified, to have harmonisation, to put integrity into the system for uniformity, predictability and all these this VIN system does.
“By using it to generate appropriate duties and taxes to be paid, it means that it is predictable and there is harmonisation between all ports and terminals across the country.
“There will be harmonisation and absence of discretion because discretion is what has been causing a lot of issues, where people bring emotions into official transactions,” he said.
He pointed out that when there was predictability in the system, people would be encouraged to trade more, leading to more revenue.
“When there is uniformity, there will be peace, because people will know that whatever is obtainable here is the same as all over.
“And when something is predictable, it means that route is made more user friendly and people will rather come and make their transactions than go elsewhere.
“ It’s not like the NCS will relent in its enforcement of law, but people will be encouraged to come into the system and do the appropriate thing. This will lead to a decrease in smuggling,” he said.
He cited an example during the meeting that agents complained of not proceeding with declaration because VIN number was not going, but when asked to come to the office, they refused.
Okun said that their doors were wide open for the agents to come for any clarification on any of the issues.