Customs and CBN at odds over electronic import and export assessment

The Nigerian Customs Service has refuted media reports that the service has adopted e-Valuator and e-Invoicing for importers and exporters introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In a statement released Thursday via the service’s official Twitter account, the NCS said it stood by its original position as communicated to the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Customs and Excise, Banking and Currency on March 3.

The CBN had introduced the e-valuator in February to reduce foreign exchange expenditure for fraudulent or inflated transactions.

According to a circular signed by the Director of CBN Trade and Trade Department, Dr. OS Nnaji, the new policy ensures that import and export activities with unit prices above 2.5% of world prices Verified would be interviewed and would not be denied successful completion of Form M or Form NX.

However, Customs also said it could not adopt the new policy as it was limited by international treaties to which it was a signatory.

Customs said: “The practice worldwide is to domicile the tendering of customs values ​​for import and export within the customs administration of each country.

“The NCS, no doubt, is mindful of its statutory functions and has a dynamic assessment unit within the Department of Tariff and Trade whose roles include, among others, the correct interpretation of the rules and agreements of WCO/WTO regarding the valuation of goods.

He added, “Nigeria being a member of the World Customs Organization, the World Trade Organization and also a signatory to international trade treaties including Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , is bound to respect the principles contained therein”.

“We would like to declare that this (the report) is incorrect. The Service stands by its previous observations on the matter, as was clearly communicated to the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Customs and Excise, Banking, and Currency on March 3, 2022.”

According to the global convention (Article VII), the value for customs purposes of imported/exported goods should be based on the actual value paid or payable for them.

The NCS further explained, “This agreement also prescribes five other methods for determining the customs value when the transaction value is unacceptable.

“These are the transaction value of identical goods, the transaction value of similar goods, the deductive value method, the calculated value method and the fallback method applied sequentially.”

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