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Following the liberalisation policy of the Federal Government, the Produce Boards were scrapped and most Nigerian non-oil exports are uncontrolled. By this, such goods as cocoa, rubber, cotton, palm oil, palm kernel, groundnut, etc hitherto regarded as controlled and exported through the scrapped Produce Marketing Boards can now be exported by companies which have such goods for export.
However, a few exportable items are controlled and monitored. These include, among others:

  • crude oil
  • works of art and artefacts
  • endangered species (flora and fauna), i.e., animals and plants.
Controlled export goods are those on which there are restrictions, while uncontrolled export goods are those on which Government has not placed any form of restriction. A prospective exporter needs to be conversant with the foreign exchange and banking regulations of the country to which the goods are to be shipped. In Nigeria, the exporter needs to be conversant with Central Bank's guidelines pertaining to export proceeds. Among other things, exporters are expected to open domiciliary account with any bank in Nigeria and ensure that the export proceeds are paid into the account. Pre-shipment inspection of all goods including oil and non-oil goods exported from Nigeria is also mandatory.

Government agencies relevant to export operations in Nigeria among others include:
  • Corporate Affairs Commission
  • Nigerian Export Promotion Council
  • Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
  • Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme
Armed with the above information, an exporter goes to the port of lading to obtain and complete the Shipping Note along with the Customs Bill of Entry. The Shipping Note calls for the following information among others:
  • The name of the exporter
  • The name of the ship to load the goods
  • The description, quantity as well as the weight/measurement of the goods to be loaded, etc.
The essence of completing the Bill of Entry, which is obtainable at the Customs office is to enable the Nigerian Customs Service examine/release the goods. It serves as an authority to process and ship consignment. Pre-shipment inspection by the appropriate designated authorities is mandatory. Goods to be exported may be stored within the port pending shipment or brought direct for shipment. When the goods arrive at the port by rail, road or water conveyance, the way bills forwarding the goods are received and used for the following purposes:
  • To cross-check the quantity
  • To prepare the Shipping Note
  • To prepare the Export Tally Sheet
  • To prepare NPA Debit Note.

The goods are examined by customs to ascertain the accuracy of the information supplied by the exporter in the Bill of Entry and Shipping Note. If customs service is satisfied, it endorses and stamps the NPA Shipping Note which is immediately despatched to the NPA Export Office.

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