VIN Valuation: Internet Pricing Not Admissible, Clearing Agents Chide Customs

President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero


The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), has stated that it is wrong for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to determine duty on imported vehicles with internet price.
The President of the Council, Lucky Amiwero also said that VIN valuation policy contravenes the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) 20 of 2003, based on the transaction value Method.
Recall that clearing agents and the Customs Service have been at logger head over the VIN valuation policy, therby, leading to withdrawal of service for the whole of last week.
However, Amiwero was a onetime member of the former Re-constituted Presidential Task Force on the Reform of Nigeria Customs Service and member of 168 additional committees; Ministerial, inter-ministerial and nine Presidential committee of the Federal Government and the one who proposed the introduction of General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) Article VII based on Transaction value of goods.
In a letter addressed to President Mohammadu Buhari, dated February 25, 2022 and a copy made available to BUSINESSinsiderng, said that as the Chairman sub-committee of the Reconstituted Presidential Task Force on the Reform of the NCS, on the treatment of valuation of vehicles, it was observed by the committee that the present ex-factory price is a component of Brussels Definition of Value (BDV).
According to him, this is not in agreement with the provision of CEMA (amendment) 20 of 2003, which is supposed to be based on purchase price (negotiated price with a buyer and seller of motor vehicles to have transaction element).
“The present ex-factory price has no negotiated component as purchase price, which is the transaction Value by importer, it lacks legal process in the criteria as contained in the treatment of Motor vehicle of Paragraph 1-6 of the Customs and excise Management (amendment) act 20 of 2003 and cannot be used but reviewed to contain features of the elements of Transaction/purchase pricing on Motor vehicles” he said.
He further stated that internet price is not a negotiated price and not admissible as transaction price or purchase price, which has no negotiating capability, as there is no buyer and seller to attract the element of transaction, which negates the doctrine of Transaction Value, and can not be used, adding that it is clearly illegal and not acceptable as transaction value.
On the World Trade Valuation Agreement, he said that the adoption of the Agreement on the implementation of Articles VII of GATT, establishes a positive system of Customs Valuation, based on price actually paid or payable for imported goods.
“The valuation method provides for fair, neutral system of Valuation, conforming to commercial realities and outlaws the use of arbitrary or fictitious value method system of valuation, the Brussels Definition of Value (BDV) which is “NOTIONAL” concept that is imaginary persons or Ghost rather then the actual person involved in the import transaction, which is currently imposed by the Nigerian Custom Service(NCS) on all imported goods”.

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