Customs Gives Human Face To Vehicle Identification Number Procedure

L-R: Comptroller Hammi Swomen of KLT; Comptroller Kunle Oloyede of Tin Can Island Port; Comptroller Festus Okun of PTML and Comptroller Yusuf Malanta of Apapa Customs Command

By Sandra Chukwunyere

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has modified the process of value imputation in the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation thereby giving it a human face for easy operation for importers.

The Controller  in charge of Valuation at the Customs headquarters, Comptroller Anthony Udeze, made this known in a sensitisation exercise on the  relaunch of VIN-Valaution in Customs Command Apapa, Lagos.
The  NCS in February this year  introduced the VIN  Valuation policy on imported vehicle which Customs agents protested against.
The policy was suspended for some  adjustments in the values imputed in the system.
After the exercise on Thursday, clearing agents, vehicle importers and NCS unanimously agreed to the redeployment of the suspended VIN Valuation policy on Saturday.
Udeze said that the VIN valuation policy was to facilitate trade, adding that cases of different values given by various Commands led to the cry for unification of value.
According to Udeze, Customs have given a human face to the values imputed in the system and have considered all options, accidented vehicles, savage vehicles were all built-in. 
“What we are presenting today is a uniformity and unification of values from all the area Commands. 
“The committee looked at various issues and at the end of one month we called stakeholders to a meeting in Abuja and showed them what we have done, they pointed out some areas which we have put in place,” he said.
He pointed out that the members of House of Representatives were invited to look at what was done and they gave us a node that we are good to go. 
“And today, we are here to showcase and sensitise all stakeholders that Vin valuation has come to stay and after this, we are rolling out VIN Valuation over the weekend.
“By Monday if you are capturing on Saturday, you are going to apply the VIN valuation.
“I assure you that you will be surprised and happy to see what you will get. We have considered all the variants, all series of vehicles have been considered. What you get today will be more favourable to what you have been getting before,” he said. 
Also Comptroller Malanta Yusuf pointed out that Customs cannot stay static in the moving world adding that automation was key and they cannot be left behind.
Yusuf said that a lot of checks and control had been imputed so that any mistake made would be discovered.
“Automation of Customs process is very essential and valuation of vehicles is not out of place. Now some agents can sit down in their bedroom and process clearance of their cargoes. 
“The new digital PAAR is another good development. Ngeria is not going to stay behind watching people take advantage of digital technology for business facilitation.
“If there is anything we need to adjust, let us know. We will adjus it, but their is going back on the VIN valuation,” he said.
In his contribution, Comptroller Festus Okun of the PTML command noted that with Vin valuation, there would be uniformity and predictability and convenience.
“The customs service has just built into its processes and procedures the basic principles of taxation which entails uniformity, fairness, predictability and all host of others.
“We have always been talking about trade facilitation and this means applications of modern techniques into processes and at the same time improve on the quality of control in a harmonised manner.
“I employ everyone to be on the same page. We should work together to see that this thing works in an environment that will promote trade and everybody will be beneficiaries,” he said.
Also, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede of TinCan Command said that VIN Valuation implementation would the country tackle security challenges due to integration of system with that of security agencies.“I appeal to stakeholders to be transparent because this is beyond Customs.
“Its benefits if rightly implemented will give us accurate statistics for national use, make integration easy between customs and other MDA’s including you stakeholders, it will enhance easy of doing business and it will facilitate legitimate trade,” he said.
Comptroller Hammi Swomen of Kirikiri Light terminal command urged the stakeholders to join customs to make this work as it would be for the benefits of the country.Dr Kayode Farinto, Acting President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) urged agents on the need for compliance so that customs would give them auto-release for vehicles.
According to Farinto, auto-release is the agents right and so customs should also do the needful so that things will run smoothly.He noted that the way customs was increasing the value of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) was not professional, adding that it give stakeholders the mind to circumvent the process.

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