By Eromosele Abiodun
The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has called for an immediate suspension of implementation of the new exchange rate, insisting it contravenes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines.
In a petition to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, signed by NCMDLCA’s National president, Lucky Amiwero, the association requested that the guideline for the Central Bank, the Federal Ministry of Finance Import guideline and the grace period should apply to importation in line with the provision of the law and principle of international best practice.
Doing so, the association stated, will create consistency and transparency in Nigeria’s import trade.
In the petition titled, “Grace Period and the Application of Exchange Rate on Importation of Goods, the associaion stated: “The guideline stipulates in paragraph 4.2.4 on import duty payment procedures that import duty payable on items registered under Form, “M” transactions whether or not valid for foreign exchange, shall be calculated on the basis of CBN prevailing exchange rate on the day the Form “M” was approved.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance Import guideline in page 8 paragraph (H)-(2) Clearly states, All import shall continue to be assessed for duty at the C.I.F. Value of the goods using the rate of exchange on the approve e-Form ’M”.”
The association added: “The Exchange Rate policy is determined under section 16 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act No.7 of 2007 that regulates and issues guideline in respect to the application of rate of Exchange. The provision under the Customs and Excise Management Act section 78 addresses the issue of Fiscal Policy on Importation, which excludes Exchange rate that is the Legal responsibility of Central Bank to intervene, regulate and publish Guideline in line with their legal mandate.
“Grace periods are associated with the implementation of changes on import trade both Fiscal and Monetary in line with Federal government practice based on international best practice on International trade. The Ministry of Finance in most of the Fiscal policy based on international best practice extents grace period for 90 (ninety) days to accommodate transactions that has been concluded.”