Nigerian Importers Abandon Containers at Seaports As Customs Increase Dollar Rate for Clearance

Nigerian Importers Abandon Containers at Seaports As Customs Increase Dollar Rate for Clearance

  • There has been a drastic decline in activities at the nation's sea ports due to the rising cost of import duty fees
  • Reports indicate that more Nigerian importers are abandoning their consignments as customs adopt a new dollar exchange rate
  • Additionally, vehicle importation into the country has decreased significantly, with importers currently abandoning them due to clearance costs journalist Dave Ibemere has over a decade of experience covering Tech, Energy, Stocks, Investments, and the Economy.

There is a steep rise in the volume of abandoned cargo amid changes in the exchange rate for clearing goods.

Nigeria customs
Nigeria customs new exchange rate brings headaches for importers. Photo credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei
Source: Getty Images

Leadership reports that several foreign-used vehicles imported into the country have been abandoned at vehicle terminals in the Tin-Can Island Ports Complex, Apapa, Lagos.

Apart from abandonment, vehicle importation has drastically decreased due to the same forex instability and volatility.

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It was gathered that the abandonment resulted from an increased exchange rate for Customs clearance by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Custom exchange rate changes

Since June 24, 2023, the Nigeria Customs Service has adopted the CBN's floating exchange rate regime.

This change has seen import duties rise from N422.30/$ to N1,417.635/$ as of Friday, February 9, 2024.

Some clearing agents quoted in the report claimed that the new exchange rate had increased the cost of clearing a 2022 Lexus RX 350 model from the seaport to N20 million and N3.4 million for a 2006 Toyota Corolla.

Ayo Sulaiman, the public relations officer and PTML command of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), confirmed the development.

He noted that from June 2023 till now, vehicle clearance costs have increased by over 120%, affecting importers' forecasts.

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“We can all testify that from December 2023, vehicle Importation dropped by 50 percent, and currently it has dropped to 30 percent and that’s why the Customs Service is trying to give incentives on values and duty on imported vehicles. So, for the service to go the extra mile, it showed that there is a problem.
“Also, if you enter some terminals, it’s like a football field; go to Grimaldi, a five-star terminal, it’s something everyone can see, it’s not hidden: importation through the seaports has gone down drastically."

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Earlier, reported that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the value of used vehicles dropped by 47% in 2022, to N335.05 billion from N617.48 billion in 2021.

The NBS data revealed that used cars with diesel or semi-diesel engines cost around N72.32 billion to import in Q1 of 2022, N96.76 billion in Q2, about N90.77 billion in Q3 and N65.19 billion in Q4 of 2022, computing about N325.05 billion.

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