IMPORT REGULATIONS BY CUSTOMS IN NIGERIA

The Nigeria Customs Service uses a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) system which allows importers to submit their import documents online for assessment and clearance prior to the arrival of the cargo. The article explains the regulations in details.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

6/6/2022 2 min read

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IMPORT REGULATIONS BY CUSTOMS IN NIGERIA

The Nigeria Customs Service uses a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) system which allows importers to submit their import documents online for assessment and clearance prior to the arrival of the cargo. This replaced the Risk Assessment Report System in 2013 with the objective of facilitating trade and revenue collection.

The NCS maintains a Fast Track window through which select importers may forward their cargoes directly to their warehouses where customs procedures such as examination and payments are undertaken. This allows the importer to bypass tedious port inspection processes and reduces costs associated with port storage and demurrage. Importers selected as beneficiaries of the Fast Track Scheme are those who have consistently exhibited integrity in their documentation and dealings with NCS.

Any person who wishes to import physical goods into Nigeria must first have the “M” form validated by an approved bank. An e-Form “M” is a mandatory documentation process put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to monitor goods that are imported into the country as well as enable collection of import duties where applicable.

The Form “M” is initially valid for 180 days for all import goods. It may be extended for 180 more days by the Authorized Dealer Bank. For capital goods, the initial validity of an approved e-Form “M” shall be 365 days which can be subject to a maximum extension of another 365 days. For subsequent revalidation of e-Form “M”, request applications must be addressed to the Director of Trade and Exchange Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, for consideration.

Below is the approved procedure for import as published by Nigeria Customs Service:

1. Duly completed e-Form “M” shall be submitted electronically to an Authorized Dealer bank with the following attached document: Proforma Invoice, Insurance Certificate, Regulatory Certificate/ Permits (e.g. NAFDAC, SONCAP Pharmaceutical Board of Nigeria, etc. and any additional documents that might be prescribed by relevant government agency).

2. However the originals of the Documents listed under points “a.”, “b.”, “c.” of point 1 should be submitted to the processing bank prior to validation.

3. Upon receipt of duly completed and submitted copy of the e-Forms “M” from the importer, the Authorized dealer bank shall:

a) Ensure that the e-Form “M” is duly completed with a detailed description of goods clearly stated;

b) Compare the attached documents with the original;

c) Ensure that the entire relevant documents that are to accompany the completed e-Form “M”, are actually provided. It should be stated that the Authorized Dealer bank is expected to carry out proper Know – Your – Customer (K-Y-C) and be satisfied that all the relevant documents forwarded are genuine;

d) After completion of “a.” and “c.” above the bank shall validate and transmit the e-Form “M” to Nigeria Customs Service.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

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