In a very simplified way, custom duty is the tax you pay for either importing or exporting goods. There are charges known as custom duties, that are imposed on virtually everything imported in Nigeria. Import duties can at times vary from 6% to 65% and sometimes on an average of 13%. Did you know that if you were to start an importation business today, all your imports would be subject to a 7% port charge? Not excluding the compulsory 5% VAT(Value added tax). There was a time when payment of custom duties were mostly done manually in Nigeria, but with the evolution of the internet, one can now check custom duty via phone.
In the course of this brief overview, we would be looking at how you can check custom duty in Nigeria online. At least you wouldn’t get into any trouble of you been short paid or not paid for imported goods. This article is not only for businessmen. If you are planning to buy a car from outside Nigeria, you should at least calculate the customs duty of the car. This would help you add it to your budget.
Before we talk about how to check custom duty, let’s talk about custom duty papers.
Custom Duty Papers
Custom duty papers consist of forms referred to as SGD (single goods declaration) forms. These forms also have Customs reference numbers known as “C-number” for short. The C-number is used for data entry. It is used for filing purposes where the details of the imported goods is catalogued. This data is stored in the database of the Nigerian customs service. Did you know that no two cars can have the same C-number? Every good must be accounted for, that why there is always a unique C-number. Sorry for missing out on this; the C-number stands for “custom reference number”.
In continuum, the C-number can be located on the top right corner of the SGD form. It always follows this format(C-144……..). The C-number is used to input the details of your goods. Some other important details of your goods include the name of the consignee, details of the clearing agency, the office of the entry (PTML/TINCAN/….), and so on.
Now without any further ado, let’s look at how to check custom duty online.
How To Check Custom Duty Online in Nigeria
At the very moment, you can’t check your custom duty online by yourself. In this eventuality, there are other verification options provided by the Nigeria customs service. So at the comfort of home, you can verify your custom duty papers through your phone. Currently, there is no web portal for checking custom duty online. The Nigerian customs has released helpdesk contacts for Nigerians to check their custom duty.
To check your custom duty, the following are the help desk contacts provided by the Nigerian customs service to call: 094621598, 094621597, and 094621599. This would enable you get in touch with any customs officer at their help desk to help you check your custom duty online via their data base.
If you want to check the genuineness of any custom papers, you would have to call any of the above-listed numbers. The personnel you are in touch with would want you to provide the following details.
- Customs Reference Numbers or C- number (mentioned earlier)
- Year of payment
- The Nigeria Customs Command where the customs duty was paid
While the call is going on, the customs officer would be keying in the information in the database for verification purposes. This process doesn’t take time at all. Within 6 minutes, you would get a response from the customs officer that the papers you have are genuine.
How To Verify If The Customs Duty On A Vehicle Is Genuine
Whenever you want to purchase a car from a dealer, it is important that you verify that the custom papers of the car is legal. A lot of Nigerians have landed in bad luck because they purchased cars from fraudulent dealers. This fraudulent dealers create fake papers for a vehicle and sell to ignorant Nigerians. You can ask for the custom papers so that you can verify it. This would help you avoid a stance of legal embarrassment.
Please note that some of these fraudulent clearing agents practice what they call “outside valuation”.
They definitely ignore the import duty that is placed by the customs valuation officer. they also patronize other based customs officers that help them with fake documentation and bank receipts.
These vehicles are then smuggled out of the landed borders or ports.
Like I stated earlier on, before you buy any goods, verify the papers of the goods with the help desk contacts that were aforementioned. Rather than become a victim to scams, stay clear from trouble and always do the right thing. Simply Dial or send an SMS to any of this numbers 09 4621597, 09 4621598, 09 4621599.
Afterwards, provide the following information
- The custom reference number or C-number
- The year you paid for the duty
- The last 6 digits of your vehicle number
- Amount paid on the SGD Form
Finally, the location or port through which the vehicle came into Nigeria.
You would find this info in the SGD(single goods declaration) form. The moment you provide these details, you would get an immediate response. This would now tell you whether your car is genuine or not. The time frame for this check-up process cannot be more than 6 Minutes.
When you discover that you papers are clean, you can proceed to purchase your vehicle. Though, as earlier stated, the process for online verification has not been made available online. You can still check out the legality of good before acquiring it.