Despite Senate rejection, Customs insists on payment of duties on vehicles

by Azeez Adeniyi

The Nigerian Customs Service on Wednesday said the one month grace period for owners of all vehicles within the country whose customs duty has not been paid was still in force.

This is after the upper chamber of the National Assembly had plan to clamp down on vehicles without correct duty papers.

Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’ Allah while moving a motion on the circular had said, “We are all aware that the area of operation specifically designated for this service is principally our borders.

“And we are aware of the fact that in this situation, we are unable to find the specific provision of the law that the Comptroller of Customs relied upon to issue this circular. I think we have a compelling need to protect the Nigerian public against this arbitrariness.”

But speaking at a media briefing on the circular, the Acting Public Relations Officer of Customs, Joseph Attah, said the one month grace period was still in force despite the order of the senate.

He however said a rebate of 60 per cent has been approved by the service for vehicles imported prior to the 2016 fiscal period.

He said, “Payment remains Monday 13th March to Wednesday 12th April, the points of payments with exemption of Lagos and Port- Harcourt will now be the nearest customs area command.

“Private vehicle owners who know that duty has not been paid on their vehicles could take advantage of this grace period to do so.

“Therefore,  owners of such  vehicles or their representatives are expected to go to the nearest pay-point for assessment and payment. It should be noted that, the 60 per cent rebate applies only within the grace period.

“The  60 per cent rebate is to create a soft landing for people who are in possession of these vehicles. Sixty per cent rebate on the value of such vehicles across board from 2015 downward simply means that, 60 per cent of the total value , which means calculation will always be based on 40 per cent.

“Any private vehicle owners who wish to take advantage of this period and pay duty will save himself a lot before the coming in to the system that will totally block  him.”

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