The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali has granted a 30 day grace period to all vehicle owners whose Customs Duty have not been paid, to do so or face prosecution.
This is coming two months after the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) banned all importation of vehicles through the land borders on January 1, 2017.
The Daily Trust reports that many dealers and stakeholders kicked against the ban even after NCS gave 21 day grace period from December 2016 for all vehicles at neighbouring ports to be cleared.
Col. Ali at a workshop on integration of National Vehicle Identification System (NVIS) at the Customs College in Abuja last December said 70 per cent of registered vehicles in Nigeria are not documented for duty payment by the Service.
Minister of Finance, Mrs.Kemi Adeosun at the event said the integrated NVIS would commence this month to discourage vehicle smuggling and the evasion of Customs duty payment by smuggled vehicle owners.
In apparent effort at this, the NCS in a statement by its acting PRO,Joseph Attah on Thursday said between Monday March 13 and Wednesday April 12,2017,all private owners and motor dealers are advised to visit the nearest Customs Zonal Office to pay the appropriate Customs Duty on them.
“The CGC therefore calls on all persons in possession of such vehicles to take advantage of the grace period to pay appropriate duties on them, as there will be an aggressive anti-smuggling operation to seize as well as prosecute owners of such smuggled vehicles after the deadline of Wednesday 12th April, 2017,” the statement noted.
It clarified that all private car owners who are not sure of the authenticity of their vehicles customs documents should approach the Zonal Offices to verify so they can comply with the directive.
The statement gave the four Zonal Offices of the Service to be Zone A Headquarters at No. 1 Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos; Zone B Headquarters, Kabala Doki, Kaduna; Zone C Headquarters, Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt and Zone D Headquarters, Yelwa Tudu Road, Bauchi State.