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Confusion as Customs gives 30-day for clearance confirmation of all vehicles in Nigeria

At a time Nigerians and mainly car dealers are calling for grace period for cars trapped at the border posts on the dot of the ban on imports via land borders valued at over N200bn, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) Thursday announced readiness of the Service to begin a mop up action on cars within Nigeria that had no genuine Customs papers.

Already, he has given a strange or unsolicited grace period of one month, between Monday 13th March to Wednesday 12th April 2017 for owners of all vehicles within the country whose customs duty has not been paid, to do so.

Findings Thursday showed that the new order involved all motor dealers and private owners of such vehicles as they are advised to visit the nearest Customs Zonal Office to pay the appropriate Customs Duty on them.

The Four Zonal Offices of the Nigeria Customs Service are: Zone A Headquarters, 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.

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 release however did not differentiate whether CG was referring to only vehicles on sale or including registered cars currently on use.

Rather, the Service said “For the avoidance of doubt, all private car owners who are not sure of the authenticity of their vehicles customs documents can also approach the Zonal Offices to verify with a view to complying with the provision of the law”.

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