Compared to sister and brother countries in Africa, shippers trading with Nigeria have faced substantially longer customs clearance times. In an article published by Nigeria Customs Service, an agent addressed the challenging reality of current Nigerian policy, “Depending on who one asks, what you are likely to hear is that, export processes average between two (2) and three (3) weeks in Nigeria, compared to only four (4) days in Kenya etc. Nigeria requires up to fourteen (14) documents for imports, compared to just five (5) in Rwanda.”
Recognizing the situation is not ideal for international trade, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) joined other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to begin making the necessary reforms so business could thrive in Nigeria. One main reason they identified for delays at the port was the haphazard manner in which goods were packaged into containers. Cargo that has unsystematically been thrown into a container causes delays in physical inspections and often makes it inviable to use modern inspection equipment.
To solve this problem, the government of Nigeria has approved a policy that now requires all containerized cargo destined for Nigeria to be palletized. The policy will take effect for all Nigerian bound cargo departing from January 1, 2018. Non-compliance by shippers will result in penalties. As part of Missionary Expediters & Cargo Logistics’ commitment to serving our clients, we are available to provide guidance and answer any questions for shippers sending cargo to Nigeria.