Customs To Issue Licence For Vehicle Terminals

Training Cordinator, Enterprises Management Training for Artisan, Mr Shuaibu Haruna (right), presenting an award to Mr Wilson Obiagwu, during a training workshop in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: Obina Prince Dele

Vehicle dealers in the country will now enjoy clearing their cars from the ports and pay duty later going by a new policy approved by the government for Nigerian Customs Service.
This is as Customs is set to issue licenses for establishment of inland bounded vehicles terminals across the country.
This, according to the services spokesman, Joseph Attah, is to create ease in the automobile business and increase commercial activities by giving a boost to the economy.
Attah said the Customs is set to commence issuance of licenses to interested auto dealers or any person who intends to operate  bonded  vehicle terminals.
The Customs according to him, will consider ownership of fenced landed spaces with designated building for Customs outpost within the terminals and a N50million  banks bond after details study of the  company’s profile before issuing licenses to applicants.
Attah also said the new regime of car holding which is coming after the ban on the important of vehicles from the land borders will boost auto businesses, strengthen National economy and security.
Apart from removing the burden of duty payment at the ports of discharge from the operators , there will be many positive multiplier  effects like  Spare Part Shops, Mechanic Villages, Food Vendors and many more springing  up commercial bank branches around such terminals.
He added  that full customs  functions of examination, assessment for value and prevention of smuggling through any forms of concealment in vehicles will not be compromised under  the  new regime.
Operators will be allowed to take delivery of their vehicles to their terminals under customs escort and pay duty as the cars are bought within a 28days grace period as operators now make sales from imported cars before duty payment  at their bonded  terminals.
For ease of duty collection and security the customs will maintain presence inside the terminals. bills of laden will indicate actual terminals where the imported vehicles will be transferred to and will make for easy evacuation from the ports to the designated terminals unlike previous methods of collecting duties to vehicles before they exit the ports which poses risks of congestion and possibility of being declared as overtime cargo due to lack of immediate funds to clear, the new regime will feature a seamless transfer of cars from the ports  to bonded terminals.
Attah, said, “Interested business persons and car dealers are expected to apply to the Comptroller General of Customs through the Area Controller of the place the terminals is to be sited.
“There will be chains of legitimate job opportunities for Banks, Auto mechanics, Spare Part Dealers , Vulcanizing Services provider and other auxiliary vehicles related business and jobs”, Attah said.
“Whatever job loss was associated with the ban vehicles importation through  the land borders will be better for it, he added”
The new method is a departure from the previous regimes which only provided  licenses for container terminals
Operators who make fat sales of  their vehicles  consignments within 28 days  will little  or nothing to pay duty on as  buyers would paid duty for  what they bough before driving  out of the terminals .
Only unsold vehicles that are left in  the terminals after the period will attract  customs immediate demand  for duty  payment from the operators.
This eliminates the stresses associated with importers and agents desperately looking for funds to clear their vehicles away from the ports of risk loosing them as overtime cargos.