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Central Bank of Nigeria Implements New Guidelines for Customs on Import Clearance Exchange Rate

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In response to multiple customs exchange rate adjustments, the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to utilize the foreign exchange closing rate on the date of ‘Form M’ submission by importers for goods clearance and import duty evaluation.

This directive was announced in a statement on Friday attributed to Hassan Mahmud, the Director of the Trade and Exchange Department at the CBN.

CBN explained that the frequent changes in customs duties rates have disrupted pricing structures, resulting in erratic increases in the final goods cost in the market.

The new measure by the apex bank is aimed at addressing the instability and frequent revisions on the customs website related to the liberalization of the foreign exchange market.

It was stated that starting from February 26, 2024, the Nigeria Customs must adhere to the new guideline.

“In consideration of this, the Central Bank of Nigeria advises the Nigeria Customs Service and relevant parties to use the FX rate at the time of opening Form M for goods importation as the basis for import duty assessment. This rate remains applicable until the completion of importation and goods clearance by the importers.

This approach will assist the Nigeria Customs Service and importers in effectively planning and minimizing uncertainties arising from fluctuating exchange rates in revenue determination or cost structure respectively.

Hence, effective February 26, 2024, the closing rate during the opening of Form M for goods and services importation will be the rate utilized for assessing goods and services, superseding the provision of Memorandum 9, J (2) within the Central Bank of Nigeria Foreign Exchange Manual (Revised Edition) 2018.”

It is noteworthy that, commencing from January this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria has adjusted the exchange rate for cargo clearance on at least six occasions. The most recent adjustment set the cargo clearance exchange rate at N1,605 per US dollar.

These developments occur amid the prevailing high costs of goods and services in Nigeria.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its latest consumer price index, reported a headline inflation rate of 29.90 per cent for January.

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