Guidelines For Exporters
In September 1999, the Federal Republic of Nigeria re-introduced the pre- shipment programme for inspection of imports.
Swede Control/ Intertek (SCI) is one of four Pre-shipment inspection companies chosen to participate in the program. The territories apportioned to SCI are shown in Appendix A.
These guidelines summarise the changes and their impact upon Exporters.
Should you have any queries, please kindly contact your nearest SCI office where trained SCI personnel will be happy to assist.
You will find our offices addresses, telephones and fax numbers, throughout the world, in Appendix C.
All Forms ‘M’ raised on or after September 1st 1999 are subject to pre- shipment inspection.
GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS COMMONLY USED
PSI - Pre- shipment Inspection
LO - Liaison Office
(SCI’s main office in Nigeria)
IO - Issuing Office
(SCI’s office in the Exporter’s country, which will organise PSI for your goods and issue a certificate for their clearance through Customs by the Importer as well as issue a Certified Invoice to the Exporter for negotiation of a Letter of Credit.)
RFI - Request for information
A notification sent to the Exporter by SCI in respect of each individual Form ‘M’ and proforma. (Each file will have a unique reference number allocated, known as the RFI number. This number should be quoted in all correspondence with SCI).
CRI - Clean Report of Inspection
The document issued by SCI which provides the SCI assessment of value and coding. The CRI is required by the Importer to obtain Customs Clearance.
DRI - Discrepancy Report of Inspection
The document issued by SCI when goods fail to pass PSI, either because discrepancies are not corrected by the Exporter or because the Exporter fails to provide SCI with a clean set of final documents. This document prohibits clearance of goods in Nigeria.
L/C - Letter of Credit
HOW IS PRESHIPMENT INSPECTION ORGANISED ?
Upon receipt of the Form M and supporting documents (including the letter of credit, if applicable) from the Importer, the Authorised Dealer Bank will process and deliver it to the SCI office in Lagos, who will analyse them and load them into the system. For your information, the Form M is available from regional SCI offices overseas as well as Nigerian Embassies, Authorised Dealer Banks etc…
Should there be no reason to reject the documentation, SCI will transmit the information electronically to the Issuing Office (IO) responsible for arranging inspections in the country of supply. Hard copies of the electronic information will also be distributed to the relevant IO.
After receiving the information, the IO will fax the exporter with a Request for Information (RFI) notification. This will request information required to perform the inspection.
The Exporter must respond promptly to our RFI letter, not forgetting that 3 full working days of advance warning are necessary in relation to the required date for inspection. Simultaneously, at the Issuing Office, SCI experts will perform preliminary analysis of the prices and customs tariff codes.
After arrangements have been made, the SCI inspector will perform the physical inspection at the requested site and mutually arranged time.
We recommend that the Exporter’s final invoice be sent to the IO on the same day that the exporter responds to the RFI.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I SHIP MY GOODS WITHOUT INSPECTION?
Where a Customs declaration is made without a valid Clean Report of Inspection (CRI), the Importer’s goods will be required to undergo destination inspection which will be carried out by SCI, under the supervision of Nigerian Customs Officers. Shipments subject to destination inspection may also suffer a delay in clearance and a fine amounting to 50% of the assessed value of the consignment.
ARE THERE ANY GOODS THAT ARE EXEMPT FROM PSI?
Yes. Please refer to the list shown in appendix B, where you will also find the list of prohibitions.
AS THE EXPORTER WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?
1. Upon receipt of the Form M, proforma invoice and Letter of Credit from the Importer, and after having processed the information in these documents, the SCI Liaison Office (LO) in Lagos will transfer the data to the SCI Issuing Office (IO) which will handle your file. The IO will contact you in writing, usually by fax. The letter is referred to as the RFI (Request For Information) and will ask you for the information we require in order to carry out our physical inspection of your goods and to perform customs classification and price verification. The RFI letter will detail pertinent references including a unique RFI locator number, for example SCI 123456.
2. Please quote the unique RFI number in all communications with SCI so the file record can be immediately located and the swiftest possible action be taken.
3. If any company other than the Exporter named on the Form M is to request inspection or act in any way on your behalf, their authority to do so must be confirmed by you as the named Exporter.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO PAY?
The fee is paid by the Federal Republic of the Government of Nigeria. However, where a discrepancy is detected on the first inspection and an additional inspection visit is required, SCI reserve the right to charge the Exporter for the second inspection.
HOW DO I ARRANGE THE INSPECTION?
As soon as you have received the RFI letter from SCI (and if your goods are ready) you should submit a written request for inspection to SCI. We ask for a minimum advance notice of 3 full working days for the requested inspection date, although we will always try to accommodate you when an urgent inspection is required. Your written inspection request should detail the following:
• The relevant SCI reference number
• Desired date and location of the inspection,
• The name of the person to be contacted at the inspection site with their telephone and fax numbers.
• Full details of the goods to be inspected
At the time of making your inspection request, if possible please provide a copy of your final invoice.
SHOULD I PACK MY GOODS FOR EXPORT PRIOR TO INSPECTION?
Goods should be presented along with the export packaging which will be used. Where packaging must be opened to perform physical inspection, repackaging will be observed at the time of inspection.
Where goods are to be exported by full container load, SCI are required to witness loading and seal the container with an SCI seal. For this to be done, Exporters will be required to present goods for physical inspection at a time and place such that, upon the same visit, the SCI Inspector may properly inspect the goods, witness container stuffing and perform sealing.
WHAT IS CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION?
All goods can be classified under a customs tariff code which determines the rate of duty payable for the goods upon importation. SCI is required to determine the correct tariff code in accordance with the requirements of the Nigerian tariff book and all other relevant regulations published by the Ministry of Finance in Nigeria. SCI will determine the correct tariff code by review of documentation taken in consultation with the results from the physical inspection of the goods. The Nigerian Customs tariff is based on the Harmonised System (HS).
WHAT IS CUSTOMS VALUATION/ PRICE VERIFICATION?
1. The customs valuation/ price verification undertaken by SCI seeks to determine whether the price being charged by the seller, as declared to us in the final invoice, corresponds within reasonable limits with export prices generally prevailing in the country of supply.
2. Where freight charges are not presented to the IO by the exporter, SCI will assess values for these for customs valuation purposes only.
3. The reference date for customs valuation/ price verification will be the date of the order or proforma invoice.
4. Where our customs valuation indicates that your prices are significantly below the reasonable limit for the export prices prevailing in the country of supply, you will be contacted and given an opportunity to comment. Our assessment of the fair market value will only be amended if you can provide us with information which will cause us to change our opinion. In the case of overpricing, you may be asked to reduce your final invoice in line with the fair market value.
4. Price data and all related information supplied to SCI is held in the strictest confidence.
AS AN EXPORTER, WHAT TYPE OF CERTIFICATE WILL I RECEIVE FROM SCI?
The Exporter will receive a certified invoice with a hologram label or sticker affixed to it. This will be returned to the Exporter by the normal postal service, unless a specific request is received for it to be sent by courier service. If the Exporter does request for it to be sent by courier the cost will be for the Exporters account.
WHAT TYPE OF CERTIFICATE WILL SCI ISSUE TO THE IMPORTER?
SCI will issue the Importer (via the dealer bank) with a Clean Report of Inspection (CRI). The CRI will include SCI’s assessment of the customs value and tariff classification.
The CRI will be issued to the Importer, provided the following conditions have been met:
1. An accepted Inspection Report has been issued by SCI to confirm that the quality and quantity of the goods meet the specification submitted to SCI;
2. The Exporter has submitted correct final documentation to SCI;
TO ISSUE THE CRI/ CERTIFIED INVOICE, WHAT DOCUMENTS DO YOU NEED FROM ME?
1 We need a clean final invoice as early as possible in the PSI process for CRI issuance, as it will enable early customs clearance of the Importer’s cargo. The clean final invoice must detail the following information:
. Invoice number and date of issuance;
. Names of the Importer and Exporter, as per the proforma and Form M;
. Detailed quantity and description of goods;
. All unit prices and extensions;
. Separate itemised charges, if applicable, up to FOB;
. The FOB (Free on Board) value of the transaction;
. Freight (if applicable);
. Insurance (if applicable);
2 A copy of the signed, clean- on- board transport document (bill of lading/ airway bill) and a copy of the letter of credit. This is relevant to issuance of the certified invoice.
3. Final invoices which show a price adjustment arising from fluctuating exchange rates cannot be accepted unless expressly allowed for under the terms and conditions of the proforma invoice.
- The CRI number must be shown on the Bill of Lading, Airway Bill or the like and written against each item in the cargo manifest. It can be generated very simply by taking the SCI number and adding the three digit suffix relevant to the partial shipment, i.e. 001 (partial 1), 002 (partial 2) etc…
- The Exporter must provide the final invoice within 72 hours of inspection, otherwise SCI valuation will be based on the documents already available.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL TO PRESENT A SET OF CLEAN FINAL DOCUMENTS?
Presentation of clean final documents should be made to SCI as soon as they are available. Failure to do so may result in the issuance of a Discrepancy Report of Inspection (DRI) and a delay in the clearance of the Importer’s goods from Customs.
In order to avoid problems, it is advisable that good final invoices be presented to ITS at the time that you submit your request for inspection.
A FINAL NOTE
1. If the information in these guidelines does not provide an answer to questions that arise in relation to a specific order, please contact your nearest SCI Issuing Office where trained SCI personnel will be happy to assist.
2. SCI is a founder member of the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA) and the Nigerian PSI programme is carried out in conformity with the IFIA code of practice.
3. SCI also carries out its work in accordance with the WTO agreement on Pre- shipment Inspection.
4. Despite every effort being made by SCI to facilitate the progress of all orders which require an inspection, an exporter may occasionally experience a problem. SCI has an Internal Appeals Procedure as required by Article 2.21 of the Agreement on pre- shipment inspection of the Uruguay round of WTO/ GATT. Exporters wishing to make use of these procedures should request details from their nearest Foreign Trade Standards office.
5. Exporters/Importers wishing to communicate with ITS by electronic mail should take note of the following important message.
Email is subject to the possibility of delays and of transmission failure. Systems designed to inform senders of transmission failure are themselves subject to the possibility of delay and may fail altogether. It follows that you should not assume that email transmission have been received in good order unless you are advised by ITS that this is the case.
ITS will systematically confirm receipt of email by email. The confirmation sent by ITS is to confirm receipt only. It should not be taken as acceptance of the content of the document. It is recommended that you call where such confirmation is not received within 24 hours.
Swede Control/Intertek is responsible for the inspection of all goods supplied from the following countries:
United States of America and The Caribbean including Nordic Nations
Denmark (including Greenland)
South America Europe
Brazil Czech Republic
Peru Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro)
GOODS EXEMPTED FROM PSI
The following goods are the only ones exempt from pre-shipment inspection:
a) Explosives & pyrotechnic products
b) Arms, ammunitions, weapons & implements of war
c) Used motor vehicles
d) Personal effects
e) Perishables (i.e. day old chicks, vaccines, human eyes, human remains, periodicals or magazines, yeast)
f) Supplies to diplomatic consulate missions and international organisations for their own needs
GOODS PROHIBITED FROM IMPORTATION
1. Sorghum (HS Code 1007.0000)
2. Millet (HS Code. 1008.2000).
3. Wheat flour (HS Code. 1101.0000).
4. Mosquito Repellent coils (HS Code 3808.1110).
5. Retreaded/ used tyres (HS Code 4012.1000-4012.9000).
6. Gaming machines (HS Code 9504.1000-9504.3000).
7. Second-hand Clothing (HS Code 6309.0000)
8. Cement not in bulk form (HS Code 2523.2910). Cement can only be imported in bulk form and cannot be brought into the country in quantities less than 10,000 metric tonnes or the full capacity of the carrying vessel. It shall in addition, be discharged into silos at the quayside or into a ship permanently moored to the Coastline or into trucks for onward delivery to the hinterland for packaging into 50kg bags using machinery and facilities already installed at those locations.
9. Bulk importation of vegetable oil is no longer allowed for health reasons. All imports shall be branded and in cans.
Please note that the list of Prohibited items for Nigeria is subject to frequent changes. SCI have provided this list as a reference for exporters to Nigeria. The list of Prohibited items, as set by the Government, will always take precedence over the information contained in these Guidelines.