In yet another annual review of its import and export prohibition lists to suit the nation’s current realities, the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS)’s new list, has been revised to meet Nigeria’s 2016 realities and help build the local industry and grow the nation’s economy. You probably know the importation of frozen chicken is prohibited, but did you also know that any life birds and their non-hatching eggs cannot be imported? What else is prohibited?
Below are 10 items you probably never knew where forbidden for importation
1. Paracetamol and Friends – Drugs Paracetamol is arguably the most common medication in Nigeria. It cannot be imported based on NCS prohibition which says ‘medicament falling under headings 3003 and 3004’ cannot be imported. The drugs are paracetamol, chloroquine, folic acid, vitamin B complex, multivitamins, aspirin, mist mag, penicillin ointment and intravenous fluid – with the exception of modified released formulations.
2. Cars – 15 Years or Older: According to NCS, used motor vehicles above fifteen years from the year of manufacture are banned from importation. Safe to say all imported cars must have been made about 2 years into the 21st century.
3. Shoes, Bags, Suitcases: Are your shoes made in Nigeria? Are they made in Italy? Whatever your answers are does not change the fact that ‘all types of foot wears, bags and suitcases’ are prohibited from importation. However, safety shoes used in oil industries, sports shoes, canvass shoes, and all completely knocked down (CKD) blanks and parts are permitted for import.
4. Recharge Cards and Vouchers: We import phones, phone batteries, and many other accessories, but who imports recharge cards?
5. Pork, Beef: In many religious countries of the world, pork is forbidden by the religious culture, but Nigeria – as a secular state, forbids the same, in order to promote local production. Importation of beef is also forbidden.
6. Cocoa Butter, powder and Cakes: In the 1970s, Nigeria was the second largest exporter of cocoa in the world, a position Ghana now holds, with Nigeria moving to the fourth spot on the global rank. One of the main issues for Nigeria over the years has been addition of value to cocoa before export. With importation ban on cocoa derivatives, Nigeria may be forced to add value to it cocoa.
7. Refined Vegetable Oils and Fats: With exception of refined linseed, castor and olive oils, refined oil and fat are banned from importation. However, crude vegetable oil is NOT banned from importation as the country does not have the capacity to meet demands.
8. Fruit Juice in Retail Packs: Fruit juices can be imported in industrial quantities to be packaged and sold in Nigeria, but cannot be imported as already packaged retail products.
9. Waters: The first question that may come to mind should be; ‘who imports water?’. Many countries of the world actually do import water. For numerous years the Asian tigers imported water. Nigerians too import water. However, current laws say mineral waters and aerated waters containing added sugar or sweetening Matter or flavoured, ice snow cannot be imported. Energy or health drinks – liquid dietary supplements e.g. power horse, red ginseng etc can be imported.
10. Ball Point Pens: Ogbonnaya Onu says Nigeria would deliver on pencil production by 2018, but pending the time, the country may still import pencils and perhaps biro. But the country’s customs prohibit the importation of ball point pen, and parts including refills, by the ballpoint tip can be imported. Some items banned include: soaps and detergents (in retail packs only), mosquito coils, bagged cement, corrugated paper, paper boards, toilet paper, carpets and other textile floor coverings. Other are cane or beet sugar, chemically pure sucrose, spaghetti, noodles, hollow glass bottles of a capacity exceeding 150mls, used compressors, used air conditioners, used fridge and freezer. ***Lizards CANNOT be Exported: Are there items that cannot be exported? Yes. The list on the side is smaller but also as binding as the first. Maize, Timber, raw hides and skin, scrap metals, unprocessed rubber latex and rubber lumps, artifacts and antiquities, wildlife animals classified as endangered species and their products (e.g. Crocodile; Elephant, Lizard, Eagle, Monkey, Zebra, Lion etc.) cannot be exported.