Importers who default in their payment of import duties to the federal government would henceforth be barred from accessing foreign exchange from the official Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned.
The CBN gave the importers until April 30, 2013, to settle all duty taxes and other charges associated with their import transactions or risk severe sanctions, which include suspension from the foreign exchange market among others.
In a circular titled “Uncollected Risk Assessment Report (RAR)” signed by Director Trade and Exchange Department, Batari Musa, the apex bank said it has been noticed that many importers fail to collect their Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) from the processing banks, indicating that import duties may not have been paid by such importers, thus denying government of the revenue.
some Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) issued by the Scanning Service providers have remained uncollected by importers from processing banks. The implication of this is that import duties may not have been paid by such importers, thus denying government of the revenue.
“In view of this development, the owners of all uncollected RARs issued on or before December 31, 2012, and which remain uncollected till date are hereby requested to collect the RARs from their banks and pay all necessary duties, taxes and penalties. This should be done not later than April 30, 2013.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, failure to collect the outstanding RARs and pay the duty taxes and other charges associated with the underlying import transactions will result in the imposition of appropriate sanctions which include suspension from the foreign exchange market by the CBN until all outstanding RARs are accounted for,” the apex bank stated.
However, where duties, taxes and penalties have been paid, the CBN said that owners of the uncollected RARs should provide evidence of utilisation of the RAR which should include SGD Registration Number and date as well as the amount paid.
The CBN also asked all authorised dealers to render returns on all uncollected RARs issued on or before December 31, 2013 on a month by month basis.
The returns, which should be on such RARs that remain uncollected after the expiration of the April 30, 2013 deadline, should be forwarded to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN not later than May 7, 2013.
The apex bank urged all foreign exchange authorised dealers to ensure compliance failing which appropriate sanctions shall be imposed.