Nigeria flag Nigeria: Buying and Selling

International convention and customs procedures of Nigeria

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Member of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Member of African Union (AU)

The country has signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).

Non Tariff Barriers
Nigeria uses non-tariff barriers in order to gain self-sufficiency in a number of commodity markets. Under the Government's Action Plan for the transformation of the agricultural sector, they introduced a policy that acquires millers to substitute up to 40% of the wheat flour produced in the country by cassava flour. In order to protect local industries, some products (including food) are banned from being imported, while incentives have been introduced to promote local products.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs Classification
Nigeria has signed the Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System and the Nigerian Customs that uses the HS nomenclature.
Import Procedures

On 1 January 2006, the country adopted a system of destination inspection (DI).

Any person wishing to import physical goods into Nigeria must first have the so-called 'M' form validated by an approved bank.

The Form 'M' is valid for six months for all import goods except machinery and equipment (valid for one year). Applications for subsequent renewal must be addressed to the Director of Trade and Exchange Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Supporting documents must be clearly marked 'valid for Forex / Not valid for Forex' as appropriate.
All applications regarding goods subject to inspection at destination must be coded 'BA' and those exempted 'CB' in the prefix of the numbering system of the Form 'M'.

The Form 'M' and the pro-forma invoice (valid for three months) must include a clear description of the goods imported in order to facilitate price verification, including:

  • The generic name of the product (type, category)
  • The brand name, if applicable
  • The name of the model and/or reference number, if applicable
  • A description of its characteristics, specificity, capacity, size, function, etc.
  • The quantity and packaging

Documents concerning each import transaction must carry the name of product, country of origin, specifications, production date, batch number and the standards to which the goods were produced. All goods to be imported into the country must be labelled in English in addition to any other transaction language, otherwise they will be confiscated.

Items subject to health or environmental restrictions (food, drugs, etc..) must show expiration dates or shelf life and specify the active ingredients, if applicable.

All imported products must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • The Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO) containing information additional to the pro-forma invoice
  • The Form 'M' number
  • Appropriate description of the goods
  • The destination port
  • An identification of the consignment, the date of shipment, country of origin, country of supply
  • A packing list
  • A 'shipped' or 'accepted without reservation' bill of landing / air waybill / consignment note / waybill
  • The manufacturer's certificate must specify the production standards; if not applicable, a phytosanitary certificate or chemical analysis report must be supplied.
  • Certificates of laboratory tests for chemicals, foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances and other regulated products, as appropriate.
Importing Samples
Valuable samples can be imported duty-free, by paying a deposit or a deposit equal to the charges payable on importing the specific goods. The deposit will be cancelled and/or refunded when the samples are re-exported.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Nigeria Customs Services (NCS)
Nigeria Trade Portal

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Latest Update: May 2024