Nigeria: Importation And Exportation Business In Nigeria

Import Business

Nigeria is an open market with a population of over 180 million people. This means products from other countries can be sold in the Nigerian market. However, the Nigerian Customs Service "Import Prohibition List", bans the following products from importation to Nigeria;

  1. Live or dead birds including frozen poultry;
  2. Pork and beef;
  3. Birds eggs but excluding hatching eggs;
  4. Refined vegetable oils and fats but excluding refined linseed, castor and olive oils crude vegetable oil;
  5. Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form containing added flavoring or coloring matter in retail packs;
  6. Cocoa butter, powder and cakes;
  7. Spaghetti/noodles;
  8. Fruit Juice in retail pack;
  9. Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters containing added sugar or sweetening matter or Flavored, ice snow but excluding energy or health drinks, liquid dietary supplements e.g. Power Horse, Red Ginseng etc. and beer and stout whether bottled, canned or otherwise packed;
  10. Bagged Cement;
  11. Medicaments falling under Headings 3003 and 3004 as indicated below:
  1. Paracetamol tablets and syrups
  2. Cotrimoxazole tablets syrups
  3. Metronidazole tablets and syrups
  4. Chloroquine tablets and syrups
  5. Haematinic formulations; ferrous sulphate and ferrous gluconate tablets, folic acid tablets, vitamine B complex tablet, except modified released formulations
  6. Multivitamin tablets, capsules and syrups, except special formulations
  7. Aspirin tablets except modified released formulation and soluble aspirin
  8. Magnesium trisilicate tablets and suspensions.
  9. Piperazine tablets and syrups
  10. Levamisole tablets and syrups
  11. Clotrimazole Cream
  12. Ointments – Penecilin/Gentamycin
  13. Pyrantel Pamoate tablets and Syrups
  14. Intravenous Fluids including dextrose, normal saline, etc.
  1. Waste pharmaceuticals
  2. Soaps and detergents in retail packs only
  3. Mosquito repellant coils
  4. Sanitary wares of plastics and domestic articles and wares of plastics, flushing ceinstern and waterless toilets but excluding baby feeding bottles
  5. Rethreaded and used pneumatic tyres but excluding used trucks tyres for rethreading of sized 11.00 x 20 and above 4012.2010.00.
  6. Corrugated paper and paper boards and cartons, boxes and cases made from corrugated paper and paper boards, toilet paper, cleaning or facial tissue but excluding baby diapers and incotinent pads for adult use and exercise books.
  7. Telephones recharge cards and vouchers.
  8. Carpets and other textile floor coverings falling
  9. All types of foot wears, bags and suitcases but excluding safety shoes used in oil industries, sports shoes, canvass shoes all completely knocked down (CKD) blanks and parts.
  10. Hollow glass bottles of a capacity exceeding 150mls (0.15 liters) of all kinds used for packaging of beverages by breweries and other beverage and drink companies.
  11. Used compressors, used air conditioners and used fridges/freezers.
  12. Used Motor Vehicles above fifteen (15) years from the year of manufacture.
  13. Furniture but excluding Baby walkers, laboratory cabinets such as microscope table, fume cupboards, laboratory benches, Stadium Chairs, height adjustments device, base sledge, seat frames and control mechanism, arm guide and head guides. Also excluded are; skeletal parts of furniture such as blanks, upholstered or unfinished part of metal, plastics, veneer, chair shell etc. Also excluded are Motor Vehicle seats and Seats other than garden seats or camping equipment, convertible into beds.
  14. Ball point pens and parts including refills but excluding tip.

The Nigerian Customs Service would seize and in most likely destroy products imported into Nigeria in contravention of the Import Prohibition List. Investors may invest in the products banned from importation to Nigeria by manufacturing the products in Nigeria. The Federal Government tax holidays for startup businesses and incentives for businesses in Free Trade Zones is a major encouragement to manufacturers in Nigeria.

Upon importation of the products which are not on the Import Prohibition List, the Importer would make arrangement for;

(i) A warehouse to store the products;

(ii) Registration of the products with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Consumer Protection Council (CPC) before and other regulatory agencies before release of the products to the Nigerian market;

(iii) Marketing and create awareness of the products in the Nigerian market;

(iv) Appointment of agents and distributors of the products in Nigeria.

Export Business

In the same vein, the Nigerian Custom Services "Export Prohibition List" provides that the following products are banned from exportation from Nigeria;

  1. Maize
  2. Timber either rough or sawn
  3. Raw hides and skin including wet blue and all unfinished leather
  4. Srap Metals
  5. rubber latex and rubber lumps
  6. Artifacts and Antiquities
  7. Wildlife animals classified as endangered species and their products e.g. Crocodile; Elephant, Lizard, Eagle, Monkey, Zebra, Lion etc.
  8. All goods imported

Entities to carry on export business

The following entities may be used as a vehicle to carry on export business in Nigeria;

  1. Private limited liability company;
  2. Public limited liability company;
  3. Company limited by guarantee;
  4. Unlimited company;
  5. Incorporated Trustee.

Registration with Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)

Upon registration of the business entity with the Companies' Registry, the Exporter would complete the NEPC Form online and upload the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association and certified true copy of particulars of directors of the entity on the NEPC portal. NEPC shall process the application and if satisfied with the information provided, issue a Certificate of Registration. The Certificate is renewable every 2 (two) years.

How to get customers abroad for export business?

The Exporter may personally source for buyers or urge NEPC to assist in sourcing buyers abroad.

How can payment be effected by buyers abroad?

Buyers may effect payment to the Exporter in a number of ways including;

  1. Cash in advance;
  2. Open Account-This is payment upon delivery of goods;
  3. Documentary collection-This is collection of payment through intermediary bank.
  4. Letters of Credit-This is a written undertaking by a bank on behalf of its customer to pay a specific sum to the seller;
  5. The consignment method-The seller ships the goods to the broker and receives payment only after the broker has sold or distributed the goods and received payment;
  6. Counter trade and barter.

Other requirements

The Exporter shall obtain other documentation including NXP Form, NIMASA Form C Series, Single Goods Declaration (SGD), Certificate of Analysis and Quality, Certificate of Quality and Fumigation etc. prior to export of its products abroad.

Registration of business entity abroad

An Exporter does not need to register a business entity abroad to export its products abroad. Once a buyer has been identified and payment terms agreed, the Exporter can ship its products directly to the buyer abroad.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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