Lagos-based importers are now to pay at least five percent extra on import duties following the implementation of the new exchange rate by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The Customs Service commenced the enforcement of the new regime following the devaluation of the Naira exchange rate to N381 to a US Dollar, from N361, a development which most importers say will further impact negatively on the economy, especially the inflation rate.
National Public Relations Officer of NCS, Joseph Attah, explained that the increase is not a function of the Customs but that of exchange regime because the Customs tariff has not changed.
“However, the exchange regime may result in a higher amount payable. The duty payable when the exchange rate was N300 will not be the same when it is N450’’, he stated.
Former National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Eugene Nweke, agreed with the Customs spokesman, but stressed that the policy is not in favor of importers who have been excluded from accessing foreign exchange from the official sources.
Nweke noted that the exclusion of the initial 41 items which was later increased to 43, from accessing foreign exchange is in bad test as the same government wants such importers to declare funds they sourced from the black market when they want to import.
The NAGAFF boss pointed out that when such funds are declared for obtaining ‘‘Form M”, it goes into the system while the same foreign exchange which they are denied is sold to those who sell foreign exchange in the black market.Follow us on social media