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Auto dealers lament over Customs’ double duty regime

34 containers of rice seized by Customs in Lagos

Car dealers on Wednesday lamented over two different duties charged by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), which they say contravened the rule of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In a statement signed by the Nigerian Automobile Association (NAA) Secretary, Ademola Moshood, the car dealers said they discovered this after a meeting with the NCS to address allegations of smuggling levelled against them.

The association said situations like this bred corruption as well as affect consumers’ purchasing power.

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“Subsequent meetings with the dealerships revealed that the government’s agency had a system of documentation and two regimes of duties that create a fertile environment for corruption to thrive within its fold to the distress of buyers of new vehicles in the country.

“The Customs duty system is whimsical because it is not based on any known indices and certainly not based on the World Trade Organisation’s format, which applies only duties determined as Freight on Board,” the statement said.

Members of the Comptroller General of the NCS’ strike force and officers attached to the Federal Operations Unit of zone A in Ikeja had stormed the Berger auto market and other major auto dealers in Lagos in search of smuggled vehicles and consequently sealing the auto shops.

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