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Import Guidelines, Procedures & Documentation Requirements Under The Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria

In pursuit of Government decision to abolish the Pre-Shipment Inspection Scheme for imports to Nigeria and the introduction of the Destination Inspection Scheme for imports with effect from 1 January 2006, the following guidelines, procedures and documentation requirements shall apply in respect of import transactions with effect from that date.

Import guidelines
  1. Any person intending to import physical goods into Nigeria shall in the first instance process Form "M" through any Authorized dealer bank irrespective of the value and whether or not payment is involved;
  2. The Form "M" shall have a validity period of six months for all imports except Plants and Machinery which shall have a validity period of one year. Requests for subsequent revalidation thereafter should be directed to the Director of Trade and Exchange Department at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  3. Supporting documents shall be clearly marked "Valid For Forex/Not Valid for Forex" as appropriate i.e. depending on whether or not foreign exchange remittance would be involved.
  4. All applications for goods subject to Destination Inspection shall carry the " BA" code, while those exempted shall include "CB" in the prefix of the numbering system of the Form "M". Payments for goods exempted from Destination Inspection under the Scheme, would not be carried out in the Foreign Exchange Market, without a prior approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The list of goods exempted from Destination Inspection shall be as approved by the Honourable Minister of Finance and the approval shall be a pre-condition for the completion of Form M exempted from Destination Inspection.
  5. The Form 'M' and the relevant pro-forma invoice ( which shall have a validity period of three months) shall carry a proper description of the goods to be imported to facilitate price verification viz;
    • Generic product name, i.e. product type, category
    • Mark or brand name of the product where applicable
    • Model name and or model or reference number. where applicable
    • Description of the quality, grade, specification, capacity, size, performance etc.
    • Quantity and packaging and/or packing

  6. Form 'M' shall be valid for importation only after acceptance by the relevant Scanning /Risk Management Provider. Consequently, Authorized Dealers are to confirm acceptance of the 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).
  8. All goods to be imported into the country shall be labeled in ENGLISH in addition to any other language of transaction; otherwise the goods shall be confiscated.
  9. Where import items such as food, drinks, cosmetics, drugs, medical devices, chemicals, etc. are regulated for health or environmental reasons, they shall carry EXPIRY dates or the shelf life and specify the active ingredients, where applicable.
  10. Electrical appliances (fluorescent lamps, electric bulbs, electric irons and ties, etc) shall carry information on life performance while cables shall carry information on the ratings.
  11. All electronic equipment and instruments shall carry:
    • Instruction Manual;
    • Safety information and/or safety signs;
    • A guarantee/warranty of at least six months.
  12. All computer hardware, software, operating and embedded system shall continue to be Year 2000 compliance
  13. Any wrong or fraudulent misrepresentation of facts will result in delays and/or impoundment/seizures.
  14. Importation of Blank products and/or without valid Form 'M' shall automatically qualify for seizure and destruction without warning, and subject to prosecution.
  15. All imports into the country shall be accompanied by the following documents:
    • Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO), and contain the following details in addition to those on the pro-forma invoice:
      1. Form "M" no.
      2. Adequate description of goods
      3. Port of destination (the actual port shall be specified e.g. Tin Can, Apapa, Kano, Onne, etc.)
      4. Shipment identification, date of shipment, Country of Origin, Country of supply
    • Packing list
    • Shipped/ Clean on Board Bill of Lading/Airway bill/Way bill/Road Way bill
    • Manufacturer's Certificate of production which shall state standards and where it is not applicable, the Phytosanitary Certificate or Chemical Analysis Report should be made available.
    • Laboratory test certificates for chemicals, foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances and other regulated products, where applicable.

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