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Forex: CBN discontinues Price Verification System as criteria for imports


CBN actThe Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, said it has discontinued the Price Verification System (PVS) and Report as criteria for importers to access foreign exchange.

Acting Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Dr. W.J Kanya, disclosed this in a circular to banks and the general public, adding that the Price Verification Report from the portal is no longer a requirement for the completion of a Form ‘M’.

The circular titled, ‘Discontinuation of the Central Bank of Nigeria Price Verification Portal’, stated: “We refer to the circular dated August 17, 2023 referenced TED/FEM/PUB/FPC/001/008 and titled “Go-Live Of The Central Bank Of Nigeria Price Verification System Portal” on the deployment of the Price Verification System (PVS).

“In view of recent developments in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market, the CBN hereby discontinues the Price Verification System (PVS).

“Consequently, with effect from July 01, 2024 all applications for Form ‘M’ shall be validated without the Price Verification Report generated from the Price Verification Portal.

“For the avoidance of doubt, by this circular the Price Verification Report is no longer a requirement for the completion of a Form ‘M’.”

The PVS was introduced in August 2023 as criteria for importers to access foreign exchange. Hence the price verification report was mandatory for all Form M requests.  The Form ‘M’ is a declaration of intention to import physical goods into Nigeria and it is used to apply for forex purchase in the official forex market.

But the introduction of the PVS was greeted with criticism from importers and the private sector groups including Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, MAN, and the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA.

“We look forward to the reversal of so many unnecessary restrictions that were placed by the CBN. One of them is the price verification portal which for all practical purposes is quite unnecessary,” said the Director general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir.

He added, “It is affecting the businesses of our members who are not able to import raw materials, machines and parts because the prices that they bought do not fall into the threshold of the portal. I think it is limiting businesses. The CBN should discontinue the operation of that portal.”

Also members of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents said that the PVS   “contravened the Customs and Excise Management (Amendment) Act 20 of 2003/ Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 on the valuation of import.”

In a letter to addressed to the President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise,  Mr. Lucky Amiwero, the founder of NCMDLCA, said:  “This valuation process is clearly outlined in the law that governs the valuation of imported goods.

“We have observed that if such implementation is allowed, it will lead to duplication and cumbersome procedures in our import and export system, particularly for those who are not experts in valuation and import-export procedures. We eagerly await an urgent response to address this economic situation.”

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