Clearing agents may shut seaports today over 15% levy on used vehicles | Dailytrust

Clearing agents may shut seaports today over 15% levy on used vehicles

Port operators are in a fix as they fear that members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) may shut down the seaports today to protest the introduction of 15 per cent National Automotive Council (NAC) levy on used vehicles.

The agents had threatened to embark on a one-day warning strike on Monday, April 25, 2022, to express their displeasure over the introduction of the levy.

The fresh industrial action is coming barely a month after a similar protest was held by the agents over the implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation by the federal government.

Operations at the seaports were grounded for three weeks after the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) commenced implementation of the VIN valuation.

The three-week protest forced the customs to postpone the implementation of VIN for a month to give the agents time to clear trapped vehicles.

The latest protest threat was announced by the task force chairman of ANLCA, Alhaji Rilwan Amuni, in a circular obtained by newsmen in Lagos on Friday.

It was learnt that the NAC levy will be enforced by the customs on used imported vehicles, a decision that hasn’t gone down well with the clearing agents. The agents argued that the NAC levy used to be for new vehicles; questioning the rationale behind the introduction of the levy on used vehicles.

The circular indicated that the warning strike was a fallout of consultations among stakeholders.

It reads in part: “We have consulted widely among stakeholders as par the 15 per cent NAC and ‘illegal benchmarks on Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR)’.

“It has been concluded that the 15 per cent NAC is a fraud and an obnoxious policy. In view of this, in conjunction with other stakeholders, there will be a one-day warning strike on April 25, from 10am prompt, starting from our ‘Holy Ground’ in front of Grimaldi.

“And we will move down to Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Ports and Terminal Multi-services Ltd (PTML) and Tin Can enroute all other terminals in Tin Can and Apapa.”

They, however, expressed optimism that the authorities concerned would reverse the “Illegal 15 per cent NAC and also review the benchmarks on PAAR” within the next 48 hours.

They further said that all members should be ready to down tools and ensure total shutdown at the ports after the warning strike if the policy was not reversed.

The circular further reads: “Please note that April 25 and 26, is just a warning strike, agents are allowed to do their jobs and tidy up against Wednesday in lieu of whether there will be a reverse or not.”

When contacted, the Customs National Public Relations Officer, Timi Bomodi, did not respond to calls and to his telephone line neither did he reply to a text message sent to him on how the Service would handle the situation.

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