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In keeping with its new drive to grow ease of doing business and seamless revenue build up, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has given signals of increasing the number of Bonded Vehicles Terminals to ease congestions at ports.
Service spokesman, Joseph Attah said the new move is to create ease in the automobile business and increase commercial activities by giving a boost to the economy.
Attah said the customs is set to commence issuance of licenses to interested auto dealers or any person who intends to operate bonded Vehicle terminals.
He said Customs will consider ownership of fenced landed space with designated building for customs outpost within the terminals and a N50m bank bond after detailed study of the company’s profile before issuing licenses to applicants.
Attah said the new regime of car holding which is coming after the ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders will boost auto businesses, strengthen national economy and security.
Apart from removing the burden of duty payment at the ports of discharge from the Operator, there will be many positive multiplier effects like spare part shops. Mechanic villages, food vendors and many more.
Other multiplier effects expected to come up from the new idea include springing up commercial bank branches around such terminals.
He added that full customs functions of examination, assessment for value and prevention of smuggling through any form of concealment in vehicles will not be compromised under the new regime.
According to the new deal, the Bonded vehicles terminal operators will be allowed to take delivery of their vehicles to their terminals under customs escort and pay duty as the cars are bought within a 28 days grace period.
Customs will only approach the dealers for duty payment at the expiration of the 28 days period as Operators now make sales from imported cars before duty payment at their bonded terminals.
For ease of duty collection and security, the customs will maintain presence inside the terminals.
Bills of laden will indicate actual terminals where the imported vehicles will be transferred to and will make for easy evacuation from the ports to the designated terminals.
Unlike previous methods of collecting duties on vehicles before they exit the ports which pose risks of congestion and possibility of being declared as overtime cargo due to lack of immediate funds to clear, the new regime will feature a seamless transfer of cars from the ports to bonded terminals.
Continuing, Attah said “Interested businesspersons and car dealers are expected to apply to the Controller General of Customs through the Area Controllers of the place the terminal is to be sited”.
“There will be chains of legitimate job opportunities for banks, auto mechanics, spare part dealers, vulcanizing service providers and other ancillary vehicle related businesses and jobs.
“Whatever job loss was associated with the ban on vehicle importation through the land borders will be covered as the economy will be better for it” he added.
Industry observers say the new method is a departure from the previous regimes which only provided licenses for container terminals.