The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has introduced a new duty regime to maritime stakeholders operating the Free Trade Zones (FTZ).
Engaging stakeholders at an event over the weekend in Apapa, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Katberine Ekekezie said the operators would start to experience the new duty regime, as the Federal Government (FG) was seeking ways to boost exportations.
With the new trading procedures, the Customs chief explained that the operators would no longer be required to pay wholesome duties for goods coming into the country from the zones.
According to her, in the new procedure which took about a year to put together, goods coming from the zones would only pay duty on imported raw materials used in manufacturing the product to be exported while those sourced locally would not attract any duty.
The Customs boss also said that no duty would be collected on finished goods coming from the zones.
She added that all imports into the FTZ would not attract any duty until such were brought into the country.
“People in the free trade zones were complaining that they were treated like they weren’t in a free trade zone and procedures weren’t adhered to. The CGC called our attention in the Excise Department and we also called the attention of the ICT Unit, where we set up a committee to look into the issues and find a solution. We reached out to the free trade zone operators, and then we went to work for more than one year to bring this to pass.
“This process is to resolve all the complaints we have been getting in the free trade zones. The process will unify every procedure of the Nigeria Customs Service, and all free trade zones in the country will abide by this same process. It is to make sure that customs duty is collected based on the imported raw materials.
“For example, if you use seven raw materials to produce an eyeglass in the free trade zone, Customs is going to charge duty only on the raw materials that were imported. Assuming out of the seven raw materials four were sourced locally and three were imported, Customs will collect duty only on those three imported raw materials,” she explained.