Clearing agents kick against CBN Price Verification System

Clearing agents operating in the nation’s seaports have kicked against the introduction of Price Verification System (PVS), by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), saying it’s against trade facilitation and Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).
In a letter to President Bola Tinubu, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; the CBN acting governor, Folashodun Shonubi, among others and a copy made available to LEADERSHIP, the president, National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, said PVS not only contravened the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, on valuation of import but would bring about duplicated, lengthy and cumbersome procedures in the nation’s import, export procedures.
Amiwero, however, stated that clearing agents requested that the PVS should be withdrawn because the circular is not backed by any law and should be withdrawn because of its effect on trade facilitation.
“We, hereby, bring to the attention of the federal government of Nigeria, of the Central Bank circular TED/FEM/PUB/FPC/001/008 OF 17 OF AUGUST 2023 GO-LIVE of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Verification System Portal (PVS) contravenes the laws of valuation of imported goods. Valuation of goods in Nigeria is prescribed under the Customs and Excise Management (amendment) Act 20 0f 2003, Nigeria Customs Service Act 35 of 2023 which gave the power of treatment, process, procedures and determination of valuation of imported goods under the Act, based on Transaction and value method,” Amiwero stated.
He continued, “the requirement for price verification on Form ’M’ from the CBN contravenes the Customs and Excise Management (Amendment) Act. On the valuation of goods on Import, there is no provision in the CBN Act 7 of 2007 that gives the power of verification of price on Import or Export or commodities.
“CBN’s main function is on monetary policy with regards to the exchange rate and other matters. Such additional requirement of Price Verification on imported goods will duplicates the function of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), create bottleneck and conflict in the determination of value, which is clearly spelt out in valuation of imported goods that is backed by the enabling law of valuation of imported goods,” he stated.
Amiwero posited that CBN intervention if not reversed would bring about duplicated, lengthy and cumbersome procedures in the nation’s import, export procedures.
“We noticed that such implementation, if allowed, will bring about duplication, lengthy and cumbersome procedures, in our import and export system, especially to those who are not experts on valuation, import and export procedures.
“The application of verification of price generated from the portal contravenes the GATT valuation Agreement Articles IIV of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Also, benchmark is not acceptable, its treatment is under the Brussel Definition of Value (BDV) that is outlawed globally and Nigerian based on global application of GATT valuation Agreement domesticated the Customs and Excise Management(Amendment) Act 20 of 2003, as the only legal and proper application for the valuation of goods in the Country.”

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