Nigeria Customs suspends 25% penalty on improperly imported vehicles

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced the suspension of the 25 per cent import duty penalty on improperly imported vehicles.

The directive came from the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, and is said to be part of strategies to help rejuvenate the economy and ensure compliance.

The National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Maiwada, made this known in a statement on Friday.

“The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), under the directives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, has initiated a 90-day window, effective from 4th March 2024 to 5th July 2024, for the regularisation of import duties on specific categories of vehicles.

“To ease economic hardship and encourage compliance, the Honourable Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the suspension of the 25% penalty previously imposed in addition to import duty on improperly imported vehicles,” the official said.

The Customs PRO further stated that concerned persons have a 90-day window from 4 March to 5 July, to regularise import duty payments.

“Stakeholders, including vehicle owners, importers, and agents, are encouraged to seize this opportunity to regularise import duty payments within the designated 90-day timeframe,” he added.

Earlier in the month, in response to concerns regarding inconsistent import duty assessment levies, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a directive advising the Nigeria Customs Service to adopt the closing foreign exchange rate in the official window for import duty calculations.

Amidst the recent liberalisation of the forex market, importers have faced uncertainties in the pricing of goods and services.

The irregular changes in import duty by the Nigeria Customs Service have further compounded these challenges, resulting in disruption in pricing and overall business operations.

To provide clarity and reduce business uncertainty, the central bank through a circular signed by Hassan Mahmud, director of trade and exchange department, advised that the closing FX rate on the date of opening Form M for importation should be used for duty assessment.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to advise that the Nigeria Custom Service and other related parties adopt the closing FX rate on the date of opening Form M for the importation of goods, as the FX rate to be used for Import Duty Assessment.

“This rate remains valid until the date of termination of the importation and clearance of goods by importers,” the bank said.

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