NAGAFF’s allegation of fraud in vehicle clearance raises concerns

Chairman 100 per cent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tanko Ibrahim, has alleged that officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were conniving with freight forwarders and vehicle importers to shortchange the Federal Government through manipulation of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).

Tanko, who spoke to journalists, alleged that due to the constant increase of the PAAR at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja, most freight forwarders have started cutting corners by conniving with valuation and releasing officers to get ex-factory price as value payable on used vehicles.

He further claimed that with the connivance of Customs officials, freight forwarders would describe imported batteries or wine as used vehicles because they want to evade payment of duties.

In a letter aints earlier addressed to the Customs Area Controller of Apapa and dated March 30, 2022, Tanko lamented that due to the sharp practices, compliant freight forwarders were now losing businesses, while government was losing millions of Naira in revenue.

“We know you as a man of reputable standards, integrity and clean records in terms of revenue collection. We plead with you to therefore, use your good offices to intervene in this crucial matter. You can request re-examination of all cargoes, whose value were based on ex-factory price,” he stated.

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Speaking further, Tanko restated that the problem freight forwarders are having today is caused by the Comptroller in charge of PAAR at Customs Headquarters in Abuja.

“We are having issues with PAAR, a container carrying bottled water could be given N10 million, while another is given N3 million. With this, Customs officers are forcing people to falsify and manipulate the contents of their containers.

“Some agents declare high duty vehicles as used vehicles or even contraband and they just go to the valuation department and obtain the ex-factory price.

“Those of us going through the normal channel of obtaining PAAR are the ones suffering. If you say the maximum cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of imported goods is N3 million, let it be so. Not some people are given N5 million, another N8 million and others N2 million. Immediately it is issued, there is nothing anybody can do.


“This is why agents are running away from the PAAR and collecting ex-factory prices, but we cannot run away from the PAAR, because nothing can make us to cut corners,” he stated.

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