The National Vice President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto as again alleged that in a desperate move for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to generate revenue, the Service has jacked up the cost of Pre -Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) unilaterally within a short time of twenty four hours.
PAAR is a document generated by the customs to to access and value imported goods when an importer have submitted his import documents, even before the goods arrived the port of destination.
According to the ANLCA chieftain, who spoke to Journalists on Friday in Lagos State, he advised importers and their Agents not to soccum to such unilateral and fraudulent increase by the Customs. Farinto narrates that the Customs recently benchmarked a mini duty of a 20ft Container to N1million and 40ft to N2million minimum duty payment. What this means is that even if your goods is less than N1million by value, an importer will be required to pay N1million as minimum accepted value by Customs for a 20ft and N2million for 40ft container.
” The information reaching me indicates that the Comptroller of PAAR has directed that henceforth (a) 1×20ft Container duty be jacked up to N1 million , (b) 1×40ft Container duty be jacked up to N2 million as basic duty.
“This effort is a desperation on the part of the NCS management team to meet up with the self imposed targets”.
Farinto pointed out that the increase negates the valuation Act 20 of 2003 which stipulates six principles to follow sequentially on value.He lamented that this is part of the reason why Nigeria’s ranking in the trade and logistics chain has continually been poor at the world’s bank logistics index where predictability of Customs formalities is one of the criteria in measuring performance. He noted that it is criminal and an effort to arm twist Nigerian traders, forcing them to pay higher duties on import which eventually falls back on the final consumer.
“In view of the above, I am directing any Customs broker that notices any illegitimate and arbitrary increase in the PAAR issued to them in the last twenty four hours to reject such PAAR and should this continue, we may not have a choice other than to call for the withdrawal of our services from the Ports”.