VIN Valuation Policy Here To Stay – Customs CG, Tells Agents

Customs CG, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd)



The comptroller general, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col.Hameed Ali (rtd), on Wednesday, disclosed that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), valuation system, introduced by the Service on imported vehicles has come to stay.

Col. Ali, who disclosed this during an inspection tour of some customs facilities in Lagos, stated that modernisation project has placed an order for the purchase of 135 units of scanning machines.


He said the service inherited obsolete and broken down scanners at the nation’s seaports when he assumed office.


Recalled that commercial activities at Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos, were disrupted by freight forwarders who were protesting the sudden implementation of VIN by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.


At the end of the protest which lasted for two weeks, the Customs Management team granted the freight forwarders 30 days grace to enable them clear backlog of trapped vehicles at the Port.


Speaking with media men, at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, at the end of the inspection tour cum pre-passing out parade of cadets, Col. Ali, revealed that on assumption of office, he noticed that all the scanners installed previously at the seaports and borders were grounded and not working.


He said having accessed the situation, which was impeding trade facilitation, he ordered for the purchase of 135 scanners, which according to him, would soon be distributed to all Seaports and land borders to facilitate trade.


Col. Ali insisted that the VIN valuation system was introduced following series of complaint by freight forwarders, regarding the disparities in the Customs valuation system.


“Anytime I go to the port, there have been this issue of uniformity for values. They have complained of multiple valuations which they get from Apapa, PTML, Tin-Can.


They say they get different values, they challenged us that they want automation and, I promised them that we will harmonize these things and put them together in one compartment. And God so kind ICT is in place and my staff went to work and now the valuation has been harmonized and we now have one single valuation.


“And this is not only for the freight forwarders, it is also for importer themselves. It makes it easier, you can now access the portal, know how much you are supposed to pay and you can also do the payment yourself, you don’t need an agent.


“Now, it is one valuation for same type of vehicle anywhere. We are moving forward, we can’t be retrogressive in our approach to issues. When the freight forwarders started to complain that they don’t like the platform, we became surprised because these where the same people that put us on the edge. So, I think it has come to stay and we will make sure it succeeds.


“When I came in most of the scanners were all run down. Information Technology components, especially as regards to scanners are time bound. The highest they will stay is about seven years. Even the manufactures of the scanners will tell you that after seven years you may not get the spare parts again.


“So those ones went obsolate and we have to devise a means of getting scanners. We are lucky we worked with the ministry of Finance, today we have three mobile scanners that have been deployed.


“They are high dimension scanners, they are exceptionally dynamic, we hope this is an intervention. We hope that the E-Customs which is my baby, will come into place and if it comes into place, we expect that 135 scanners will be deployed nation wide. And that will take care of land borders, airports and sea borders,” he added.

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