NIGERIAN TRADE POLICIES ON IMPORTS AND EXPORTS
The Federal Government has replaced the current preshipment inspection scheme with a destination scheme, and has moved from the Brussels definition of value to a system based on WTO Agreement.
A value added tax of 5% applies to both domestically produced and imported goods; and excise duties, ranging from 20% to 40%, are applied on certain imports. Additional layers of duty are payable for purposes such as port development and import supervision. Government has also increased the number of goods on the import prohibition list. Nigeria has not imposed any trade defense measure; however, the authorities have indicated the need to protect local industries from dumping and unfair competition within the WTO framework.
MEASURES DIRECTLY AFFECTING IMPORTS
(i) CUSTOMS PROCEDURES AND VALUATION
The importation of goods to Nigeria is governed by the Customs and Excise Management Act; Customs and Excise Notices; and guide lines set out by the Federal Ministry of Finance. Under these provisions, importers do not need to be registered, since registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission under the Companies and Allied Decree of 1999 is sufficient to import all but a few regulated goods.
Importers must complete an import declaration form: Form M, other required documents include: an attested invoice, bill of entry, copy of bill of lading/airway bill, a packing list, certificate of insurance, a bank receipt for import duties, a clean report of inspection issued by the preshipment inspection agent. The Government has stepped up efforts to bring efficiency to the customs administration. Reforms to customs services are one of the core components of the Government’s current reform programme. The objective of the programme is to modernize and speed up customs clearance; simplify and rationalize tariffs, duties, and waiver; improve revenue collection by customs; and strengthen and professionalized customs services. The measures taken (or planned) include: a downward shift in port taxes and levies, and elimination of some redundant port security agencies; the establishment of a unit to fight corruption in the provision of customs services; and administrative changes to the management and operation of NCS. It is reported that the efforts to modernize and professionalize the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Port Authority have helped to reduced port congestion and clearance rates, particularly at Lagos Apapa port, which handles over 40% of Nigeria’s trade.
(ii) RULES OF ORIGIN
Nigeria’s non-preferential rules of origin are contained in Customs Duties Art. Nigeria also applies the ECOWAS rules of origin under which a finished product has community origin.