Nigerian Imports – Form “M” Requirements

July 20, 2012  |  

Exports to Nigeria have been under intense scrutiny for some time and now the majority of imported products require a ‘Form M’ number to be displayed on the export documentation

  • The consignee is required to provide the Nigerian bank with ALL the details of the shipment BEFORE the cargo leaves the origin
  • The bank needs information such as commodity, HS code, quantity, supplier’s details, Airport/Port of Loading, Airport/Port of Discharge and a proforma invoice of the goods to be transported.
  • The consignee will also insure the goods to be shipped for 110% of the value of the shipment.
  • When all this is done, the bank issues a document called ‘Form M’ and presents the same to the inspection agencies such as COTECNA/SGS (inspection/examination bodies).
  • The inspection agency would assess the information and approve if details are satisfactory.
  • Until then the consignee cannot conclude transactions with the shipper at the origin.
  • Once details are confirmed as satisfactory, the document is issued to the consignee by the bank with a unique transaction number.
  • The consignee sends a copy of the document to the shipper.
  • The shipper is required to indicate this number in the description column of the Air waybill (AWB) or Bill of Lading (B/L)
  • It is important that the number quoted on the AWB or B/L is the same as the one on the original form; Any discrepancy would require an amendment to the AWB or B/L which could be at a cost or may considerably delay cargo release
  • In cases where the commodities in GCSS are “used spare parts” these are commercial goods, and definitely require a Form M.
  • Diplomatic cargo (of reasonable quantity), Personal effects, goods shipped in by Government agencies or goods shipped into Free Trade Zones in Nigeria(Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ)) usually do not require Form M.


For further information you can follow this link to the NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE (NCS) Website


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