Following the reintroduction of a 15 per cent National Automotive Council levy by the Nigeria Customs Service, clearing agents operating in the nation’s maritime sect may withdraw their services on imported used vehicles.
NAC in 2011 proposed 35 per cent duty differentials between imported fully-built units and locally assembled cars. The proposal reportedly failed later.
But years after the introduction of the levy, the Nigeria Customs Service on Saturday reintroduced 1a 5 per cent NAC levy on used imported vehicles.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited chapter, Abayomi Duyile, said the move could harm the sector.
He said, “As I speak to you now, the NCS has reintroduced the NAC levy, which is a 15 per cent payment on used imported vehicles. That is a major issue; it means an additional 15 per cent on the duty we are paying currently.”
Duyile noted he was surprised the service was coming up with the levy in the second quarter of this year.
“We will meet tomorrow and when we do, we will make our views known to the government. What we have in Nigeria are assembly plants, it is not as if we produce any vehicles completely in Nigeria. I am surprised now that towards the second quarter of 2022, the Customs is coming back again with the NAC levy.
“Why should the NAC levy be on used vehicles? I don’t know why they are coming up with the NAC levy again now. The Customs didn’t inform us, so we have been advised to stop the process of duty payment until this is sorted out. This is everywhere for now and anywhere you are clearing used vehicles, you will face the same problem.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, PTML Chapter, George Okafor, said the outcome of the association’s meeting with its members will determine whether the agents would embark on the proposed strike or not.
“This is wrong because there is no way Customs can calculate NAC levy on used vehicles. It should be for new vehicles. The levy is for new vehicles, and not old or used vehicles. We will have to meet with the Customs command to determine the next line of action.”
Meanwhile, the National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Timi Bomodi, said the move was in line with the Economic Community of West African States Common external tariff, 2017-2021.