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Covid -19:  Clearing agents  seek reduction in Customs duty on ambulances, medical equipments

Freight Forwarders spoil for war with terminal operators over demurrage waivers.

Abiola Seun   |

Clearing agents operating at the nation’s seaports have called on the Federal Government to reduce the 35% customs duties on ambulances and other essential medical equipments.

In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated 18th November, 2020 by the African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), the National President,  Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, noted that slashing the 35% customs duty would boost health services in the country amid the COVID~I9 pandemic

APFFLON alleged that, while ambulances are levied 35%, some luxurious vehicles are being made to pay a meagre 10% levy at the port.

Ogunojemite said it is unfortunate that medical equipments in Nigeria keep attracting high duty levies, even though other countries around the world are relaxing levies on such essential items due to COVID-l9.

“Your Excellency Sir. we find it really unfortunate that these essential vehicles and medical equipments are subjected to 35% duties while luxury vehicles also pay 35% duties”

“It is also strange that some special vehicles are prioritized over health services as these vehicles with H.S CODE 8705900 pay 10% customs duties”

He acknowledged the numerous efforts the presidency has put in place via the Presidential Taskforce for COVID-l9, Ministry of Health, Finance and Transportation Ministries among others.

Some of these effprts according to him includes; palliatives for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), aviation sector, transporters among other interventions.

He however argued that the reduction of the 35% customs duties on ambulances and other medical equipments could be a major accomplishment for the country in the Post-COVlD-l9 era.

“We urge the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-l9 and the Finance Ministry to intervene in order to reduce the Customs duty on ambulances or avail zero duties to aid more hospitals acquire those assets and empower the nation’s fight against COVlD-l9” Ogunojemite stated

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