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Customs Suspends VIN Automation On Imported Used Vehicles

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Authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service have finally announced the suspension of the implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy recently introduced on imported used vehicles.

The suspension according to a circular dated March 7th, 2022, and titled, ‘Approval Of Grace Period, To Clear Backlog Of Vehicles’, begins from Tuesday, March 8th, 2022.

The policy which allows for importers to auto-generate tariffs on imported cars had led to weeks of demonstration and the shutdown of port activities by licensed Customs Agents, while the service insist on implementation led to the shutdown of port activities.

However, the communique says it has approved one month window to enable the clearing agents to clear the backlog of vehicles held up in the port as a result of the strike.

Importers and agents are also warned to ensure the uniform application of rebates for all vehicles using the correct values for their assessments, according to the statement.

It further states that “the VIN-valuation protocol is still in operation as reviews and updates are being captured in our system to reflect these adjustments.”

The circular also directed the affected area controllers to monitor the transition period and ensure manual assessments are in compliance with extant laws of the hand throughout the one month grace period, starting from Tuesday 8 to 22 March 2022.

The customs National public relations officer, Timi Bomodi was on Channels Television weekend Breakfast programme, Sunrise, last week Saturday where he explained that the leadership of the service were weighing the newly introduced policy for necessary action.

Other participants on the show argued that there is an urgent need for the customs to step down the policy which they say lack an economic basis.

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