Clearing agents operating at the Tin-Can Island Ports Complex, Apapa has complained about accruing storage and demurrage charges due to server breakdown of the National Vehicle Registry’s (VReg’s) platform.
LEADERSHIP reports that in April 2020, the federal government commenced moves to create a National Vehicle Registry (VREG), an information system that will curb evasion of duty payment on imported vehicles, eliminate the sale of stolen, accident-wrecked and unsafe vehicles from the Nigerian market.
The platform stores detailed vehicular information such as; specifications, ownership, and history of each vehicle in Nigeria.
However, speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the public relations officer, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tin-Can Island chapter, Onome Monije, said agents were finding it difficult to access the Vreg’s platform in the last one week.
According to her, exiting vehicles from the terminals have been a nightmare even as she lamented that vehicles are attracting huge storage and demurrage charges from terminal operators and shipping companies.
To her, “accessing Vreg platform since last week has been a nightmare as the portal had been down due to server breakdown.
“The Vreg is for all consignment with chassis/serial number and it is mandatory for us to register with vreg before we can proceed to Customs portal for duty accessment and payment because the Vreg has been integrated with that of Customs platform.
“As a result of the inability to access the Vreg platform, we stay awake in the middle of the night searching for network and sometime it comes up 2am or 3am and whenever there is an amendment it is always difficult to amend mistakes.
She, however, pleaded with the federal ministry of Finance (FMoF) to have a help desk where complaints can be made and resolved.
“We are appealing to the federal ministry of finance or their consultant to open the link icons for importers to pay directly. It is also important that they have office in Lagos and all the port for effective working relationship with clearing agents and importers.
“Vreg is a great pain on clearing agents’ necks, the process is cumbersome as OTP code must be generated with a minimum payment of about N4,700 per unit vehicle. We are losing millions daily while shipping companies and terminal operators are gaining millions of nairs daily.”
“Also, no one is telling us what the issues with the Vreg’s network are and storage charges is increasing daily. Maybe shipping and terminal operators are paying commission to them through the huge demurrages and storage charges we are accruing,” she lamented.