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Documents required for import customs clearance in Nigeria

AMG Logistics

Proper documentation is at the heart of all international trade transactions. It gives exporters and importers an accounting record, shipping and logistics companies instructions on what to do with freight information, and banks instructions and accounting tools for collecting payments.

The documents required for Import Customs Clearance in Nigeria is as follows:

Bill of Entry:

The Bill of entry is one of the primary import documents for import customs clearance. Bill of Entry is a legal document to be filed by the importer, duly signed.

The bill of entry must be filed within thirty days of the arrival of goods at a customs location.

Certificate of origin:

The Certificate of Origin certifies the country in which the goods originated or in which the preponderance of manufacturing or value was added. It also constitutes a declaration by the exporter. Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining what duty will be assessed on the goods

Commercial Invoice:

An invoice is the prime document in any business transaction. The invoice is one of the documents required for import customs clearance for value appraisal by the concerned customs officials. Assessable value is calculated on the basis of terms of delivery of goods mentioned in the commercial invoice produced by the importer at the customs location. The concerned appraising officer verifies the value mentioned in the commercial invoice matches with the actual market value of the same goods.

This method of inspection by the appraising officer of customs prevents fraudulent activities of importers or exporters by over-invoicing or under-invoicing.

Bill of Lading / Airway bill :

BL/AWB is another document required for import customs clearance.

Bill of lading under sea shipment or Airway bill under air shipment is a carrier’s document required to be submitted with customs for import customs clearance purposes.

Bill of lading or Airway bill issued by the carrier provides the details of cargo with terms of delivery.

Multimodal Bill of Lading FBL:

A Multimodal Bill of Lading FBL is an international transport document covering two or more modes of transport, such as shipping by road and by sea.

It is also used as a carriage contract and receipt that the goods have been received.

Import license:

An import license may be required as one of the documents for import customs clearance procedures and formalities under specific products.

This license may be mandatory for importing specific goods as per guidelines provided by the government. The import of such specific products may be regulated by the government from time to time.

Insurance certificate:

 An insurance certificate is a supporting document against the importer’s declaration on terms of delivery. Insurance certificate under import shipment helps customs authorities to verify, whether the selling price includes insurance or not. This is required to find an assessable value that determines the import duty amount. 

Purchase order/Letter of Credit:

A purchase order reflects almost all terms and conditions of the sale contract which enables the customs official to confirm the value assessment.

Technical write up, literature etc. for specific goods if any:

Technical write up, literature of imported goods or any other similar documents may be required as one of the documents for import clearance under some specific goods.

For example, if machinery is imported, a technical write up or literature explaining its function can be attached along with importing documents.

Industrial License if any:

An industrial license copy may be required under specific goods imported. If the importer claims any import benefit as per guidelines of the government, such an Industrial License can be produced to avail the benefit. In such a case, an industrial license copy can be submitted to customs authorities as one of the import documents.

Test report if any:

The customs officials may not be able to identify the quality of goods imported. In order to assess the value of such goods, customs officials may draw samples of such imported goods and arrange to send it for testing to government authorized laboratories.

Apart from the above-mentioned documents, the importer has to file additional documents if any required as per the guidelines of the government/customs department under import of specific goods.

Should you need assistance or further information, please contact any of our offices.

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AMG Logistics is a Lagos-based TRACE certified logistics company. Our services include Freight forwarding, Customs clearance, Trucking, Distribution, and Warehousing within Nigeria.



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