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Customs Gives 90-Day Window for Import Duty Payment on Unsettled Vehicles

Customs Vehicle
Illustrative Picture

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has introduced a 90-day window to regularise import duties on specific vehicle categories. This was conveyed through a recent press release signed by Abdullahi Maiwada, Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations.

This initiative specifically targets vehicles imported into Nigeria with pending customs duties or those detained due to undervaluation. However, it excludes seized and condemned vehicles, which will be forfeited to the Federal Government by existing regulations.

“While we strive for inclusivity, it is important to clarify that vehicles seized and condemned will not be released under this arrangement and shall be forfeited to the Federal Government by extant regulations”, the statement said.

Vehicle owners, importers, and agents seeking to regularise import duties are required to apply to the Zonal Coordinators or CAC FCT Command, and submit the necessary documents and processing Vreg in line with Federal Ministry of Finance directives. Continuing the statement read:

“Valuation and assessment of the vehicles will be carried out using the VIN valuation method. Import Duty and a 25% penalty shall be paid in tandem with the import guidelines, procedures, and documentation requirements for used vehicles under the Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria (2013) and the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. Also, duty payments must be made using the Procedure Code specifically created for this exercise.

This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to facilitating compliance. We encourage all stakeholders to capitalise on this opportunity within the stipulated timeframe.”

This development follows recent allegations of complacency and corruption within Nigeria’s Customs Agency, exposed by investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo. Speaking on the “Hard Copy” program on Channels TV, Soyombo uncovered deep-rooted corruption within the agency, revealing systemic issues that allowed smuggling to thrive unchecked.

The investigation unveiled a network of corruption involving IBD Dende, who has political connections with influential figures like the Inspector-General of Police and the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service. This raises concerns about the diligence of the agency in protecting and combating smuggling under such circumstances.

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