As part of its policy of enhancing the ease of doing business in the Nigeria, the reduction of documentation requirement and timeline for Import and Export trade transactions in the Country, was approved in April 2017.


Under the revised Import and Export documentation signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, W.D Gotring, both processes were reduced from ten to seven and 14 to eight respectively.


The reduction came as a result of joint meeting between the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Customs Service.


The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, at a sensitization workshop in Lagos, said the Federal Government will commence implementation of the 2017 Revised Import and Export Guidelines in January 2018.


Adeosun represented by the Director of Home Finance Department in the Ministry, Mrs Olubunmi Siyanbola, said the review was motivated by the desire of the present administration to deepen ease of doing business in Nigeria, in line with the Executive Order 1.


She stated that of the 190 countries in the World Bank’s ease of Doing Business Index for 2018, Nigeria has moved to 145th position from 169th position it held previously.


She pointed out that the Government adopted a number of measures, to improve trading across the Country’s border.


Adeosun noted that imports already prepared for shipment into the Country were not affected.


The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse explained that, until the review, the Export and Import Guidelines had become obsolete and had constituted a huge administrative impediment to smooth export and import operations in Nigeria.

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Isa-Dutse, who was represented by the Director of Information in the Ministry, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, expressed hope that the revised guidelines will eliminate the bottlenecks that have negatively influenced the efficient conduct of trade across the Country’s borders.


An Importer should take note of the following guidelines as contained in the 2017 revised Import:

1. Process an e-Form ‘M’ through any Authorized Dealer Bank, irrespective of the value and whether or not payment is involved.


2. The validity period of an approved e-Form ‘M’ for general merchandise shall be 180 days, which may be extended by another 180 days by the Authorized Dealer Bank.


3. For capital goods, the initial validity of an approved e-Form ‘M’ shall be 365 days’ subject to a maximum extension of another 365 days.


4. However, any subsequent request for revalidation of e-Form ‘M’ shall be forwarded to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department and the Central Bank of Nigeria, for consideration.


5. Supporting documents shall be clearly marked “VALID FOR FOREX” or “NOT VALID FOR FOREX” as appropriate i.e. whether or not foreign exchange remittance would be involved.


6. e-Form ‘M’ shall be valid for importation only after registration by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). Consequently, Authorized Dealer Banks are to confirm registration of the e-Form ‘M’ before proceeding with other import processes.


7. Documents in respect of each import transaction shall carry the name of the product, country of origin, specifications, date of manufacture, batch or lot number, Standards to which the goods have been produced (e.g. NIS, British Standards PD. ISO, IES, Din, etc).

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8. All goods to be imported into the country shall be labelled in ENGLISH in addition to any other language of transaction; otherwise the goods shall be confiscated.


9. Any false or fraudulent misrepresentation of facts will result in impoundment/seizures.


10. The percentage of buying commission to be paid to agents, or confirming house acting as intermediary between importers and exporters, is subject to a maximum of 2% of the FoB value of the consignment, where applicable. Download complete file.


An Exporter should take note of the following guidelines as contained in the 2017 revised Export:

1. All non-oil exports from Nigeria shall be subject to inspection by the Pre-shipment Inspection Agent(s) (PIA) appointed for that purpose by the Government.


2. The focus of the Pre-shipment Inspection Agents (PIAs) shall be to ascertain the quality, quantity and price competitiveness of exports from Nigeria.


3. The exporter shall open an export domiciliary account with any bank in Nigeria with which the exporter registered the Form NXP in the first instance. The Form NXP shall be completed in sextuplicate in respect of each export transaction.


4. The exporter shall also request and collect a BILL OF LADING DECLARATION FORM from the PIA which shall be completed after loading and submitted thereafter to the PIA.


5. The Pre-shipment Inspection Agent(s) shall complete its own section in the NXP Form, send the second copy to the Central Bank of Nigeria, retain a photocopy and forward the remaining four copies to the Nigeria Customs Service.

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6. The exporter shall provide necessary logistics at the export terminals/warehouses to enable the Pre-shipment Inspection Agent(s) perform the inspection.


7. The Nigeria Customs Service shall submit to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, on a monthly basis, shipment copies (Fourth copy) of the Form NXP to cover the period’s export transactions. Download complete file.

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