No going back on VIN valuation policy – Customs insists
*As implementation begins Friday, May 20, 2022
* ANLCA Acting National President, Dr Farinto calls for professionalism
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has Said that the implementation of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN ) Valuation policy will begin by tomorrow, Friday, May 20, 2022.
The position of the Service was officially announced at the stakeholders’ sensitisation programme for relaunch of VIN valuation, organised by NCS at Apapa Customs Command.
The lead speaker, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, who gave opening remarks, stated emphatically that VIN valuation policy has come to stay. He explained that the policy has been reviewed and amended
to address issues raised by Customs brokers and clearing agents on increase in duty payment for imported and accidented vehicles, when the policy was earlier introduced.
Compt Malanta, who is the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Apapa Command, said the policy will enhance trade facilitation in line with global best practice.
According to him, VIN valuation policy is imperative for automation on trade facilitation, even as he stressed the importance of automation in Customs processes.
His words :
“There is no going back on VIN valuation policy. It will fast track the system to ensure seamless release of vehicles from the ports.
The system will eliminate person-to-person contacts in the clearing chain. We are going to implement a simplified and seamless procedure. So, it’s going to be a win-win situation for the Service and stakeholders.”
Compt Malanta emphasised : “The world is going digital and Nigeria has to move in line with the global trend on the use of latest technology for trade facilitation. With VIN valuation in place, you can sit in the comfort of your offices and process clearance of your vehicles electronically.”
He added :
“This is a transitional process and measures will be put in place to address teething problems in the system. For instance, a help desk will be created to address any challenge, especially issues of auto release, as well as request for hard copy of valuation assessment for clearing agents.
“We will have continuous engagements with stakeholders, in order to address any challenge that may arise during implementation.”
More so, the programme moderated by the Customs National Public Relations Officer, DC Timi Bomodi
paved the way for stakeholders to interact with Customs officials and ask questions on various aspects of the policy.
Other top Customs officers, who spoke at the programme were Compt. Anthony Udeze, in charge of Tariff & Trade, Compt Adekunle Oloyede the CAC of TinCan Island Port Command,
Compt Hammi Swomen of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Command and Compt Festus Okun of PTML Command.
In their comments, they informed that standard VIN has 17 digits while non standard VIN has 13 digits. This implies that the system will easily identify non compliant traders, who may try to circumvent the system.
They stressed that VIN application will enhance seamless clearance of vehicles from the ports, as the Service will apply human face to the values in consideration of accidented and salvage vehicles in the amended VIN valuation implementation.
The officers mentioned that during implementation, they will create a uniform value to simplify clearance of vehicles across all Customs formations. Also, VIN Valuation will reduce drastically cases of
multiple alerts and interception of vehicles cleared from the ports by Federal Operations Unit of the Service.
Speaking further, they appealed to importers and clearing agents to ensure honesty in their declaration, as there will be consequences for non-compliant traders caught trying to circumvent the system with false declaration.
Speaking on behalf of stakeholders, the Acting National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto, urged Customs officers to ensure professionalism during the implementation process.
To him, increase in the value of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is unprofessional and should be jettisoned.
Dr Farinto advised clearing agents to step up their level of compliance, to enable Customs grant their request for auto release of vehicles, which he said is the right of agents.
The climax of the programme was a practical demonstration of how VIN valuation application works.