BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Ports Terminal Multservices Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it generated N46.9billion from importers of new and used vehicles (Tokunbo) in the first quarter of 2021.
The collection was higher than N45.4billion collected in first quarter of 2020 by N1.44billion
In a press release made available to LEADERSHIP on Thursday by the Public Relations Officer, PTML command, Yakubu Muhammad, he said N15billion was collected in January, N11bilion in February and N19billion in March, 2021.
According to him, the shortfalls recorded in the first two months of the year were attributable to low volume of trade occaissioned by the lull in economic activities due to COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, said that the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Festus Okun, has consequently enjoined importers and agents using the PTML port for their businesses to imbibe and sustain good business etiquettes such as sincere declarations, prompt duty payment and keeping to all other extant rules as contained in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and other customs guidelines.
Okun advised that importers should continually acquaint themselves with import and export prohibition lists and seek appropriate clarifications where necessary on areas like Harmonised System (HS) code to achieve flawless classification of their cargoes.
The statement said: “Comptroller Okun reiterated at the beginning of the year that with compliance with the rules, cargoes can be exited from customs control within four hours of entries in PTML. The CAC also advised dealers in vehicular cargoes to avoid smuggling through the land borders as PTML being a roll on roll off (RoRo) port can meet their demands and expectations.
“With compliance and prompt duty payment, vehicles can be cleared within four hours from our port. This is faster than importing through any neighbouring country and later attempting to smuggle such vehicles into Nigeria through land borders.
“I wish to remind members of the business community, particularly those involved in vehicle importation, that the ban on bringing in vehicles into the country through the land borders subsists. People doing this are at risk of their vehicles being seized and them being arrested.
“Our hands on trade facilitation drive makes PTML user friendly and cost effective for users and will continue to meet importers and agents expectations without compromising national security.”
Okun also advised stakeholders to keep to the COVID-19 protocols of regular hand washing, usage of sanitisers, proper wearing of masks, keeping physical distancing and obeying all other advice given by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevent spread of the virus.