IMPORT DUTY: PAYMENT ON GOODS/PERSONAL EFFECTS  IN  PASSENGER’S BAGGAGE IS UNLAWFUL

May 14, 2020
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it is now unlawful for officers of the Nigerian Customs Service to demand and collect import duty and other related charges from anyone in respect of goods/personal effects found in their baggage provided that such are not meant for sale, barter or exchange.

This was the decision of the federal high court, Abuja in a suit filed by Tunde  Adejumo on behalf of  a senior advocate of Nigeria, Kehinde Ogunwumiju challenging Nigerian Customs Service Board  over infringement on his right to personal properties.

The Plaintiff  had approached the Court seeking a declaration that in view of the provisions of Section 8 of the Customs, Excise Tariff Act and the 2nd Schedule to the Customs  Excise Tariff act , it was unlawful for officers of the Nigerian Customs Service to have demanded and collect import duty and other related charges from  any Nigerians  in respect of there personal effect .

Ogunwumiju alleged that upon his return to Nigeria on 24th of June, 2019 the Nigerian Customs Service  during baggage search compel him to pay duties on a computer bag meant for his personal use.

Justice John Tsoho in his judgment held that the customs has failed to establish credible evidence that such  was meant for sale, exchange or barter therefore import duty and other related charges in respect of  such personal effect is unlawful, null and void .

The court also ordered that all duty paid be refunded to the plaintiff and awarded a  sum of Five Million Naira as exemplary damages against customs .

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