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Custom suspends e-valuation of imported vehicles for 31 days

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THE Nigerian Custom Service (NCS) has announced the suspension of its controversial electronic valuation system for imported vehicles, also known as Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation, for 31 days.

The decision, according to NCS spokesperson Timi Bomodi, was to allow the clearance of backlogs of vehicles trapped at the ports.

“Sequel to recent Customs/stakeholders town hall meeting held in Lagos on VIN-Valuation, the Comptroller General of Customs having listened to public outcry, has graciously approved one-month window to enable the clearing of the backlog of vehicles held up in the ports as a result of strike action,” he said.

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While stating that a uniform application of rebates will be used for all vehicles using correct values for assessment during the exercise, he maintained that the VIN protocol would still be in place.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the VIN-Valuation protocol is still in operation as reviews and updates are being captured in our systems to reflect the genuine concerns of stakeholders.”

The agency added that it would sustain its consultations with stakeholders in line with Article two of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement for a smoother Customs/ stakeholders relationship.

The announcement came over two weeks after clearing agent associations at Lagos ports embarked on an indefinite strike over what they described as frustrations occasioned by the implemention of the e-valuation system.

The agents also accused the NCS of hiking tariffs on imported vehicles arbitrarily through the e-valuation.

The ICIR reported last week that the meeting between the NCS and the clearing agents ended in a deadlock.

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