The federal government of Nigeria on Monday said it has banned the importation of vehicles through the land borders, effective January 1, 2017.
The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) said today from a statement that the prohibition order covers all used and new vehicles.
This ban is coming on after a ban on the importation of rice through the land borders since April 2016. That order however restricted rice imports to the seaports but with the attendant increase in smuggling activities at the borders, reports said.
The NCS in the statement issued by its spokesman, Wale Adeniyi said the ban is a sequel to a Presidential Directive restricting all vehicle imports to Nigeria Sea Ports only. The order takes effect from January 1, 2017.
“Importers of vehicles through the land borders are requested to utilize the grace period up till December 31, 2016, to clear their vehicle imports landed in neighbouring Ports,” it said.
Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), the Comptroller-General of Customs in October said he was standing by for orders from Presidency to ban vehicles’ importation through land borders.
Col. Ali had argued during the oversight visit of the Senate Committee on Customs to the Service headquarters in Abuja that the ban would curb smuggling along Nigeria’s borders.
The Daily Trust reports that Seme border near Lagos is one of the major legal land borders where most used vehicles come in through to Nigeria from Cotonou, Benin Republic, West Africa.
Clearing vehicles at the seaports imply that the prevailing tariff regime since 2014 applies. It requires importers to pay 35% duty, 5% VAT, 1% inspection levy and 7% port surcharge for used vehicles, Nigeria’s Common External Tariff (CET) indicates.