The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has announced a 31-day suspension of its contentious electronic valuation system for imported vehicles, also known as VIN valuation.
According to NCS spokesperson Timi Bomodi, the decision was made to allow the clearance of backlogs of vehicles stranded at ports.
“Following the recent Customs/stakeholders town hall meeting on VIN-Valuation held in Lagos, the Comptroller General of Customs has graciously approved a one-month window to enable the clearing of the backlog of vehicles held up in the ports as a result of strike action,” he said.
While stating that rebates will be applied uniformly to all vehicles using correct values for assessment during the exercise, he stated that the VIN protocol would remain in place.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the VIN-Valuation protocol is still in use as reviews and updates are captured in our systems to reflect genuine stakeholder concerns.”
The agency also stated that it would continue to consult with stakeholders in accordance with Article 2 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement in order to improve the relationship between Customs and stakeholders.
The announcement came more than two weeks after clearing agent associations at Lagos ports went on indefinite strike over what they called frustrations caused by the e-valuation system’s implementation.
The agents also accused the NCS of arbitrarily raising tariffs on imported vehicles through e-valuation.
Last week, the ICIR reported that the meeting between the NCS and the clearing agents ended in a stalemate.