Nigeria’s Import Policy Modification in the Automobile Industry
In a bid to implement Nigeria’s Port Reformation Initiative and ease inefficiency in the import-export of automobiles, The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has stated that it will develop bonded vehicle parks and terminals all over country in January 2017. In addition, it plans to issue licenses to major dealers to operate in cohesion and enable the availability of jobs within the automobile industry.
According to the NCS, the bonded park initiative simply means licensed car dealers who typically import vehicles and manifest them for the destination in the inland areas will only provide some logistics and Customs will escort them down to the terminal without paying the customs duty yet for a period of 28 to 30 days.
NCS plans to create more efficiency at the seaports. When cars are imported into Nigeria, there have been challenges with clearing efficiently which in turn leads to cars being kept at the port for long periods of time not to mention accruing extra charges and demurrage which the consumers ultimately pay for.
The Federal Government in December 2016 announced the ban on the importation of vehicles through land borders in the country. This took effect on the 1st of January 2017. This bonded vehicle park initiative plans to provide an efficient process to support the importation ban of vehicles through land borders.
Through this process, the Federal government plans to reduce unexpected charges for the end-consumers which will, in turn, ease the pressure at the port system where there is typically a backlog of vehicles waiting to be cleared.
Nigeria seems to be somewhat on the right track in regards to their automobile import policy reforms. We do recommend that the Federal Government and the National Assembly work together to develop clear plans for the seaports and land borders to operate efficiently which will, in turn, reduce the financial burden on the consumer and generate more revenue for the government.