HOW TO OBTAIN IMPORT LICENSE IN NIGERIA
An Import license in Nigeria is the approval issued by the various agencies of government, which regulate and determine the goods that can be brought into the country.
Import Procedure in Nigeria
Before any goods can be imported in commercial quantities into Nigeria, the importer must essentially follow the stipulated statutory requirements, which include the followings:
Government Agencies that regulate & Issue Import Licenses in Nigeria
Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON): This agency is foremost when it comes to importation in Nigeria. The SON operates and issues licenses to importers of various goods through its programme called SONCAP (Standard Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme). The SON covers almost all items to be imported into Nigeria save for the ones statutorily delegated to other agencies.
The Documents and Procedure to process SONCAP in Nigeria
The documents required to import goods into Nigeria is dependent on the nature of goods to be imported. If the product to be imported is SON regulated, the importer will be required to get the Product Certificate from the manufacturer country, which is issued by an approved inspection agency. The product certificate will be required by the importer to open the Form M.
National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC): This is an agency of the Ministry of Health in Nigeria. The products that are regulated by NAFDAC are Food products, Drugs, Chemicals, Medical products, Raw Materials and other branded products exempted from registering with SONCAP.
In our previous write up, we explained the procedure for obtaining the Import license from NAFDAC.
Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR): for the importation of petroleum resources into Nigeria, the agency responsible for issuance of the import permit is the Department of Petroleum Resources.
The application process from the Agency for the DPR import permit can be applied for on the online portal of the DPR official website.
Nigerian Electrification Regulatory Commission (NERC): the NERC import permit required from all importers participating in the power sector in Nigeria. The NERC is the regulatory agency that oversees the power sector in Nigeria.
Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS): This regulatory agency under the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for issuing importation permit for agricultural seeds and animals into the Nigeria territory.
The requirements for obtaining import license with NAQS
In conclusion, there is no generic import license that covers all goods brought into Nigeria. The goods to be imported will determine the import license to be required. There are various government agencies responsible for issuing import permit and licenses to importers for the various categories of goods to be brought into Nigeria.
Before an import permit is obtained, there are questions to be asked to determine which agency will be responsible for issuing the necessary permit for the goods to be imported.
It should also be noted that not all goods can be imported into Nigeria territory. Some items, which cannot be imported into Nigeria at the moment, are clearly listed on the Nigerian Customs Service’s list of contraband items.
By Corporate & Commercial Law Department at Resolution Law Firm
Email: [email protected]