A member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Ugochukwu Nnadi has disclosed that the importation of used vehicles into Nigeria has declined since the introduction of the Vehicle Identification Number, VIN, by the Nigeria Customs Service.
Nnadi also claimed that the policy had made it difficult for Nigerians to afford second-hand or used vehicles.
“Yes, there is a drop in the importation of used vehicles generally. In fact, by the time those whose vehicles were already at the ports before this VIN valuation would clear all their products at the ports, the drop might rise further.
“Some people’s vehicles are already at the ports and they don’t have any option than to manage to bring them out.”
Clearing agents have supported Nandi’s position, explaining that the non-exclusion of ‘accident’ or ‘accidented’ vehicles on the VIN platform for the valuation of imported vehicles and hike in foreign exchange had discouraged many importers from bringing in damaged vehicles.
The Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited Chapter Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, George Okafor, said that accidented vehicles were still being treated as normal vehicles, explaining that this could be the cause of the reduction in imports.
“The issue of accidented is not yet captured in the new vehicle registration, which has been the problem because ‘accident’ vehicles are still being treated as normal vehicles. As at now, there is no particular information on accidented vehicles. What we are doing now is the vehicle registration system valuation, so there is nothing in the system for accidented vehicles for now.”
Also speaking, the TinCan Island Chapter Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Ojo Akintoye, blamed the hike in foreign exchange as the reason for the reduction.
“The reason is not far from the hike in foreign exchange rate. I bought a Toyota Corolla when the dollar rate was less than N500. I bought that for about $3000. Now, the same car is over $5000 with the hike in exchange rate. When you bring the car back to Nigeria, you will still spend money to buy spare parts and put the car in order. So, all these cost a lot of money.”