●U.S. Customs moves to check car theft
Importation of used vehicles by Nigerians from United States has soared by 60.4 per cent from $715.39million in 2018 to N828billion ($1.80billion) in 2019. Total global vehicle importation into the country was $2.24billion in 2018 and $5.63 boillion in 2019. Following massive car theft at United States ports, the CBP has embarked on conducting outbound cargo examinations at the nation’s ports.
It was learnt that some of the vehicles are being shippied to Nigeria and other West African countries. The CBP said that it had recovered 1,082 stolen vehicles between October 2019 and September 2020, noting that of those cars, 833 or 89 per cent was destined to Nigeria, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
It was gathered that some of the vehicles were stolen from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, plus Washington D.C. Meanwhile, U. S Customs and Border Protection had notified all exporters and shipping agents that all vehicles issued titles in the New York State would no longer be accepted for export anywhere in the country. The policy, which became effective from February 05, 2020, stipulates stated that all either salvage or clean would not be accepted in all USA ports of exports.
Nigeria account for 27 per cent of the used vehicles into Africa, which were either low grade or damaged. According to the United States Department of Commerce (USDC), U.S used vehicle export to Nigeria, Benin among others had risen to 826,000 units annually.
The USDC statistics indicated that the Nigeria imported 82,180 units of vehicles from the America in 2018 as against 48,899 units in 2017 It noted: “Vehicles purchased with New York issued state documents that are already loaded will not be allowed to depart without CBP validation and will have to be off-loaded and returned to our warehouses, for storage.”
“Please before buying any cars from any auction or dealer make sure the title is not a New York issued title.” It would be recalled that data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that the country spent N1.08 trillion on used cars imported from various countries between October 2018 and September 2019.
The bureau noted that importation of used vehicles into the country rose N252.3 billion in Q4 2018 to N301.8 billion in Q3 2019. Also in 2018, vehicle importation increased by 30.82 per cent in the last one year at the Tincan Island Port’s roll-on roll-off terminal in Lagos. It was revealed that the Ports and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) took delivery of 269,000 units or 65.53per cent of the 410,443 units that entered the country between 2017 and 2018. During the period, no fewer than 229,690 units were imported through the seaports, while some 180,753 units of vehicles were imported in 2017.
However, most of the vehicles were of low grade because they have been dented from the countries of origin before they were shipped into the country. It was further revealed that PTML received 159,000 units in 2018 and 110,000 units of vehicles in 2017. Also, it was revealed that there were more of damaged, accidented and relatively low grade vehicles compared to over 200,000 units handled by the terminal in 2012 and 2013, prior to the implementation of the policy.