The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has stated that it is wrong for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to determine duty on imported vehicles with Internet prices.

The President of the Council, Lucky Amiwero, stated this in a letter addressed to President Mohammadu Buhari, a copy which was made available to The Guardian.

Recall that clearing agents and the Customs Service have been at loggerheads over the VIN valuation policy, thereby, leading to the withdrawal of service since last week with about 8, 000 vehicles trapped and N200 billion lost due to demurrage.

Amiwero, who was the Chairman sub-committee of the Reconstituted Presidential Task Force on the Reform of the NCS, on the treatment of valuation of vehicles, said it was observed by the committee that the present ex-factory price is a component of Brussels Definition of Value (BDV).

According to him, this is not in agreement with the provision of Customs and excise Management (amendment) act 20 of 2003, which is supposed to be based on the purchase price (negotiated price with a buyer and seller of motor vehicles to have transaction element).

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“The present ex-factory price has no negotiated component as purchase price, which is the transaction Value by the importer, it lacks legal process in the criteria as contained in the treatment of Motor vehicle of Paragraph 1-6 of the Customs and excise Management (amendment) act 20 of 2003 and cannot be used but reviewed to contain features of the elements of Transaction/purchase pricing on Motor vehicles,” he said.

He further stated that Internet price is not a negotiated price and not admissible as transaction price or purchase price, which has no negotiating capability, as there is no buyer and seller to attract the element of transaction, which negates the doctrine of Transaction Value, and can not be used.

This, he noted, is clearly illegal and not acceptable as transaction value, but reviewed to contain features of the elements of Transaction/purchase pricing on vehicles.

On the World Trade Valuation Agreement, he said that the adoption of the Agreement on the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) Article VII, establishes a positive system of Customs Valuation, based on the price actually paid or payable for imported goods.

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