Concerns mount as Customs slams 15% NAC levy on importation of vehicles
By ADAKU WALTERI
Barely one week after the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) reduced import duties on vehicles from 35 per cent to 20 per cent, it has slammed a fresh levy of 15 per cent National Automotive Council (NAC) on vehicles imported into the country.
The policy, which was effected on April 9, 2022, has, however, generated negative reactions from freight forwarders and importers, who have vowed not to pay the levy.
The freight forwarders described the NAC levy as an attempt to arm twist importers for customs to meet its yearly revenue target of N3 trillion for 2022.
According to them, the implication of the new imposition is that Nigerians would have to pay more for vehicles, as clearing costs would have to be increased at the nation’s ports, The Trumpet gathered.
Meanwhile, The Trumpet learnt that the NAC levy was supposed to be collected on new vehicle imports at 35 per cent to encourage local vehicle manufacturers and industries in the country.
The policy was later reviewed by Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) last year. The vehicles affected are HS Code 87032120, 87032220, 87032400 for Diesel and Gasoline/Fuel Vehicles.
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However, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has urged its members not to pay the NAC 15 per cent levy, just as its National Vice President, Dr. Kayode Farinto, at the weekend, urged members to jettison the policy, which he described a ‘oppressive.’
“The National Automotive Council levy was imposed by virtue of the National Automotive Design and Development Council Act 6 of 2014”, which was enacted to encourage locally manufactured vehicles to encourage Nigerians to buy vehicles assembled in the country and to protect locally made ones.
“Section 10 of the Act states: “The Council shall establish a fund, which shall consist of two per cent Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF), value of all imported automotive Fully Built Units (FBU) and automotive components, Spares and Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) units.
“This simply applied to those importing new vehicles and new spare parts. Professional colleagues, please do not pay any NAC levy on imported used vehicles, as there is no law that compels you to do so.
“Let us collectively resist this, should you see any NAC levy whenever you want to make your declaration, do not asses the declaration. It is another attempt to swindle Nigerians and force them to pay by some fifth columnists. Please Resist from Monday,” he said.
Also reacting to the development, Secretary of the Tin Can chapter of ANLCA, Michael Ovien, said with the earlier reduction of duty from 35 per cent to 20 per cent last week, the Customs was implementing the newly approved Common External Tariff (CET) on Vehicle 8703 that was generally agreed by ECOWAS, Customs and Licenced Agents in 2021 at a meeting on General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT).
He said the changes were meant to be interjected into the Extant Law of CET from January 1, 2022, which took effect in Nigeria from April 1, 2022.
“But the NCS did not find this comfortable, because its management thought this would reduce the target imposed on the organisation by the Federal Government to collect a total revenue of N3 trillion that was shared to all Customs Commands under the supervision of the Custom Headquarters,” he stated.