ANLCA Acting National President, Dr Farinto holds NEC meeting in grand style
* Faults Customs on bench mark introduction for commodities
It was a remarkable moment yesterday for the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the foremost Customs brokerage organisation in Nigeria, as its Acting National President, Dr Kayode Farinto, held the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in grand style.
The NEC meeting, which was the second segment in 2022, since the first one took place in January 2022, paved the way for exhaustive deliberations on salient issues on Customs brokerage and the freight forwarding sub-sector at large.
In his opening speech, Dr Farinto Faulted Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on bench mark introduction for commodities.
He Said :
“The unnecessary jack up of Pre-arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by Customs is an issue, because it has become habitual character for Customs to arbitrarily increase PAAR, not minding various conventions, as well as the Valuation Act 20 of 2003, which gives six principles that must be followed sequentially on the issue of value, and the 2020 NCO legal framework.”
He pointed out :
“It has been observed that NCS has introduced bench mark for commodities. This is because, for every (one x 20) 1 x 20” container PAAR issued, the value of duty payable cannot be less than two million (N2,000,000), irrespective of whatever is the content of the container
“I am sad to inform the NEC that this is as a result of Revenue targets given to the Service by Federal Government, hence we have jettisoned professionalism, decency and rule of engagement to meeting up these targets at all cost.”
He frowned, “The entire trading community is confused because we have never had it so bad before. The entire trading community and Freight Forwarders psychic has been militarised and we may need professional psychologists to become normal again.”
Speaking further on introduction of National Automobile Council (NAC) levy, he explained :
“The Acts No 6 of 2014 is very explicit on introduction of NAC levy on fully built Imported Vehicles (NEW VEHICLES).
We woke up to see Government migrating to ECOWAS Tariff, which states that for raw materials, the rate of duty should be 5 percent, semi-finished products 10 percent, while used vehicles should attract 20 percent. But government suddenly slammed 15 percent on all used vehicles and tagged it NAC levy. When it was obvious that government could not defend this, it was changed to 15 percent levy.”
His words :
“We are not unaware of the provision, which empowers member Nations to introduce Import Adjustment Tax (IAT), but this ought to be for products manufactured locally. This Tax is meant to protect local manufacturers. The question, which is yet to be answered is whether, Nigerian Government is manufacturing used vehicles locally. The spiral effect of this levy is unprecedented, as clearing of used vehicles is skyrocketing negatively and its spiral effect will begin to manifest in the next quarter of 2022”.
On efforts by ANLCA to make government have a rethink, he said :
“We have made efforts to solve this problem, even as we paid a visit to the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Finance, in order to make the Executive Arm of this government see reason on the need to ameliorate the suffering of the masses, by reducing this levy to 5 percent, if it can not be scrapped out-rightly.
“About few days ago,
I raised this issue at the inaugural plenary meeting of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN). Meanwhile, the Council has directed that, the Registrar should as a matter
of urgency engage the Federal Ministry of Finance on the issue.
“I equally informed the Council that Freight Forwarders can only be ready to pay the POF charges, when they see that the Council is protecting them and one of it is to stop the 15 percent levy collection on used vehicles.”
The NEC meeting was a huge success, as top officials of ANLCA from various chapters gathered at their national secretariat and participated actively in the discussion, which touched on almost all aspects of freight forwarding operations in the port industry.