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VREG: FG tasked to address persistent server failure

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The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has urged the Federal Government to address the persistent breakdown in the operations of the National Vehicle Registry (VREG) at the seaports.

The acting President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto, made the call at a news conference in Lagos on Thursday.

VREG was introduced in 2021 by the Ministry of Finance to have data of all vehicles coming into the country.

Farinto said that the persistent breakdown of VREG server was frustrating the implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation system for cargo evacuation at the port.

He noted that freight forwarders and importers suffer demurrage and additional storage charges due to the VREG interruptions.

“Before a freight forwarder can clear any vehicle, if it’s on VIN valuation, one must key into the VREG to be captured.

“Unfortunately, most times the VREG server is down and it makes payment difficult and this can take some days.

“If you are unable to do so, you cannot move to the next level of VIN valuation. On a weekly basis, they can have a downtime of two days and this is not good at all,” he said.

Farinto said that the association going forward would take stock of demurrages incurred by members due to the VREG frustration.

He said that government should be ready to pay for demurrages incurred by members or face the court.

“A policy has been rolled out, people keyed into it, the system is not allowing them to work, who is at fault, it should not continue like this,” he said.

On assessing the VIN valuation system, Farinto said that the challenges with the system presently was its inability to handle the non-standard chassis vehicles from Europe and Asia.

He noted that the Area Controllers at the various Customs commands had the discretion to direct valuation officers to provide values for these chassis vehicles.

Farinto commended freight agents for partnering with Customs in a bid to make the VIN system successful.

He, however, said that some Customs officers were frustrating the VIN system.

“We will compile the names of such officers and send to their headquarters for action,” he said.

Farinto also appealed to the Federal Government to review the duration of vehicles allowed for import into the country from 12 years to 15 years.

“Currently, a 2009 vehicle pays over N1million duty under the VIN Valuation system because it will have to pay the 2011 model charge of the same vehicle.

“VIN valuation does not have values for vehicle models older than 12 years and most 2008 and 2009 vehicles are largely used by Nigerian youths for Uber and other e-hailing services.

“The implication is that older vehicles will be more expensive in Nigeria. We want the government to review the 12-year policy on used vehicles to 15 years,” he said.

He also urged government to review the levy on used vehicles from 15 per cent to 5 per cent to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

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