Nigeria customs clearance Procedures: How to get imported cargo goods cleared at Nigeria sea ports

with No Comments

The beauty of imported goods (full container or groupage) to Nigeria is to get them out of the port terminals to avoid extra storage charges that demurrage charges. Are you an importer that wants to understand the customs clearance procedures for getting your goods cleared? I am going to explain to you with concise details, on the steps and the documents needed to get the goods out for delivery by a freight forwarders or the appointed customs agents by the importers.

Customs clearance procedures in details

The first step to take is for the importer to submit relevant documents for Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) issuance through the bank that issue the Form M. The documents that are the submitted are

  1. Form M
  2. Original Bill of Lading
  3. Packing List
  4. Proforma invoice or commercial invoice
  5. CCVO (Combine Certificate for Value and Origin for the imported goods
  6. Certificates that may be issue agencies like NAFDAC, SON (SONCAP)
  7. Letter headed application for value and PAAR

The documents will be sent to the bank headquarters through local courier company like DHL, FEDEX, UPS. You have to contact your bank account officer to facilitate and monitor the process for any discrepancies that may occur during the process. The process can take a week or more depending type of imported goods.

After PAAR has been issued and all the values presented on the documents  are correct. The PAAR issued will be sent to the importer email or printed at the any of the bank branches in Nigeria. The next process is for the importer to handle the activities to a qualified and licensed customs agent or agency or company. The customs agent will input the information through DTI (Direct Traders Input) CAFÉ to raise the assessment notice of the imported goods. The PAAR document will be captured or punched for assessment notice.  In some cases, the Port of Discharge on the Form M is not the actual discharged port; the PAAR has to be transmitted to the actual ports of discharge. Example if the port of discharge on Form M is TINCAN COMMAND AREA and the terminal of the shipping company is in APAPA COMMAND AREA, the PAAR has to be transmitted to APAPA AREA. The assessment notice document will be presented to the bank of which Form M was issued to make payment and the bank will issue Customs Duty Payment Confirmation document. This is the evidence of customs duty payment.

After this or before this process which ever come first, shipping and terminal fee will be requested for by the customs agent. The only document needed is the original bill of lading for shipping and terminal fee documents. The values are different depending on the terminal and shipping company. All other agencies inspection fee will be issued and paid depending on the type of imported goods.

After terminal fee has been paid, the customs agent will proceed to the terminal to request for examination of the containers or the groupage. The examination of containers require the inspection request is logged and approve before the agencies like Customs, SON, NAFDAC, Quarantine, SSS, Anti Bomb Squad and others can inspect. After inspection has been done by various agencies, the examiners will fill the certificate of examination document. The customs Investigation unit will trigger the INSPECTION ACT which will be joint actions of other agencies. The goods must be released by the releasing officers .

The next procedure will be shipping company goods release. The inspection act will be presented to the shipping company releasing officer for shipping release. The documents that are presented are stamped and signed bill of lading by the customs agency and the importer, Letter headed letter of Authority by the importer, photocopy of the authorized identification Card with the phone number written on it, letter of authority by the customs agency.

The customs agent will present all the customs documents and shipping documents with all payment made to the terminal management for terminal release and GATE PASS. Afterward, the containers or the pallets will be loaded on truck. Waybill and terminal pass will issue for easy delivery of the goods. Remember that agency and handling fee will be paid to the freight forwarder or the company that handle the whole process.

Do you need a reliable freight forwarder or customs agent to handle your imported goods to Nigeria? We can assure you of timely delivery without delay or incurring extra storage charges. Talk to us for your freight forwarding services like shipping, customs clearance and haulage


Follow Michael Adewale:

International Freight Forwarder, Shipping Consultant and Customs Clearing Agent

He is Chief Executive Officer at Distinctcushy Global Freight Forwarding Company Limited, an International Freight forwarding company and Customs Clearing Broker in Lagos, Nigeria. He loves integrity and value honesty with importers and Exporters in Nigeria and abroad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *