The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday gave a detailed explanation on the reasons duties on cargoes imported into the country are going up.
According to the deputy national public relations officer of the service, Timi Bomadi, the reasons for the increase in valuation of imported cargoes were COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted global supply chain and the increase in exchange rate.
He said, “Since value assessments are based on the currencies of exchange when calculating duty payable on imports, we are compelled to also factor in the exchange rate. Even when the cost, insurance and freight values remain unchanged over time, the fact that the exchange rate varies, implies that there must be a commensurate increase in assessments and duty payable.”
“Also, since we all are in agreement as to the negative effect of the pandemic on global supply chain and its effect on cost, insurance and freight, we should then not be surprised by adjustments made by customs valuation officers reflecting our current global realities.
“Therefore, anyone imputing ulterior motives to the actions of valuation officers, should themselves be viewed with suspicion.”
According to him, the service valued cargoes imported into the country in line with the global standards of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“In the WTO’s guideline for assessing the proper value for goods outlined in its agreement on implementation of article VII of general agreement on trade and tariffs, 1994, it provides a customs valuation method which primarily based the Customs value on the transaction value of the imported goods.”
He, however, bemoaned importers who blackmailed the service for querying cargoes falsely declared in order to evade payment of revenue accrued to the federal government.