Imported vehicles: Customs decry rising false value declaration

Imported vehicles: Customs decry rising false value declaration
Tokunbo cars
The Nigeria Customs Service has explained that the controversy surrounding the introduction of the Vehicles Identification Number for the valuation of imported vehicles is as a result of misuse of codes.

The Customs Area Controller in charge of Tin-Can Island Command of the service, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyode, in a chat with our correspondent in Lagos, said during the risk profile of the exercise, the service observed that there were a total of 7,000 declarations, all using 846.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had, in a circular to all authorised dealers and the general public announced the introduction of e-invoicing for all imports and exports in the country, effective February 1, 2022.

However, freight forwarders operating at both the Tin-Can Island and PTML shut down operations at the port in protest of the circular from CBN, urging the service to address the technical glitches facing the newly introduced e-valuation system.

He added that the agents went on using the 846 to reduce the digits from the standard VIN.Explaining the technicalities of the platform Oloyode said there were standard and non-standard VIN.

“What happened in the VIN valuation was a misuse of the codes. In VIN Valuation, we have what we call standard VIN and non-standard VIN. For standard VIN, we created the standard code, 4000000. For non standard VIN, we created 4000846. Standard VIN has 17 digits while non-standard VIN could be less or more. But we know vehicles coming in from China, and Europe come with less than 17 digits. So we made this to accommodate all types of VINs. But the agents, being what they are,  went on using 846 by either reducing the digits from the 17 or putting a dot or slash.

“And being the risk manager at the headquarters, I now profile the system because anytime we deploy a solution we expect either positive or negative feedback that will help us to update, upgrade or even fine-tune the system. But we had about 7000 declarations all going to 846”

He said that the VIN had come to stay, adding that the service over the time had received letters from Interpol on missing vehicles.

“When we looked at it, we saw that there was a misuse. So, in trying to correct those issues I was brought in here. I was able to tell them what the problem was. VIN valuation is going nowhere; it has come to stay because these are parts of the technology that we are talking about that will aid trade facilitation. We are talking about biometrics, artificial intelligence, and scanners. VIN valuation is used in all the climes of the world to allow trace stolen vehicles.

“And going forward, the next stage of the VIN valuation is the V-registration. VIN Valuation is a very small part of the V-REG. Along the line, we found out that the 10 per cent depreciation was not captured, which was why we pulled it down,” he concluded.

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