Several vehicles are once again trapped at the Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) and Five Star terminal, Tin-Can Island port as CG clearing agents and importers abandoned clearance of vehicles over the 15 per cent National Automotive Council (NAC) levy.
Though, the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF), has changed the heading of the 15 per cent levy, to Common External Tariff (CET) levy, clearing agents still described the new levy as illegal, saying it was not backed by any law in Nigeria.
Speaking under the aegis of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), the national president, Lucky Amiwero, said, CET is alien to the nation’s domestic law.
He said, “The shifting from NAC levy of 15 per cent to CET levy of 15 per cent, by the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS), contravenes the principle of World Customs Organisation(WCO), Kyoto convention on the simplification and harmonisation of customs procedure, the World Trade Organisation under the Agreement on Trade facilitation Agreement (ATF) which core principle is predictability, consistency and transparency on trade information, fees and charges Imposed on in connection with importation and exportation, which create confusion and impediments.”
He added that, as a result of the confusion of the shift from NAC levy of 15 per cent to CET levy of 15 per cent without any backed legislation, many vehicles are now abandoned at the port , accumulating demurrage and rents, which creates serious bottleneck to revenue collection and impediment to trade, especially, when it’s not covered under any domestic law, stressing that, ‘the only approval for Levy for Motor vehicles of 8703 cars is 5 per cent by the National Assembly and signed in to law by the president.’
“The imposition of common External Tariff (CET) levy of 15percent on Motor vehicles is not backed by any law or approved in the Finance Act of 2020 and 2021 and not provided in any law of the land and assessed on motor vehicles by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
“There is no such thing as Common External Tariff (CET) levy of 15 per cent either on Motor vehicles or goods, the only approval is on ECOWAS trade liberalisation levy (ETLS) of 0.5 per cent, the introduction of CET Levy is strange to our domestic law and the ECOWAS convention on import duties and levies assessment and collection.
“The levy approved in the Finance Act 2020 approved for motor vehicles specifically state that the amendment of the first schedule to the Act is amended by inserting and replacing as the case may be the following duties and levies: duty on tractors (Heading 8701) From 35 per cent to 5 per cent.
“Others are, Duty on motor vehicles for the transportation of more than ten persons (HS Heading 8702) From 35 per cent to 10per cent; levy on motor vehicles for transportation of persons (Cars) (HS Headings 8703) from 35 per cent to 5 per cent and also, the duty for motor vehicles for transportation of Goods (HS Heading 8704) From 35 per cent to 10 per cent.
“The Finance Act provides for 5percent levy for Motor vehicles of chapter 8703 that is cars, there is no provision for CET levy of 15percent in either 2020 and 2021 Finance Act passed by the National Assembly and signed in to law which is the only approval by the National Assembly on motor vehicles,” Amiwero said.