Are you wondering how to import cars to Nigeria and calculate vehicle duty? Germany and the United States are the top locations in the West where car importers source used vehicles for import to Nigeria and other African countries. In this exhaustive guide on how to import cars to Nigeria, there is a lot to learn.
We will discuss current trends in the vehicle importation business, source your car, make a payment, and ship it to Nigeria. You will also briefly examine calculating vehicle import duty in Nigeria and customs clearance procedures. Here, it will serve as your helpful primary source for upcoming changes in the year. So, always come back to check what is new.
Buckle up as we ride together! First, look at the recent update on import duty in Nigeria.
Latest Changes On Import Duty For Specific Vehicles In Nigeria
The awaited changes on import duty for specific motor vehicles to support the 2021 budget’s economic improvement are here. According to our source, the changes affect importing particular automotive vehicles into Nigeria. We try to show the previous, the latest, and their difference to establish clarity.
|Type of Vehicle
(from 10 Passengers)
|New Cars (levy)
Note: It is crucial to confirm the information stated above with the Nigerian Customs Authority or your clearing agent in Nigeria to know any new changes that are unknown to us. And to further understand if the authority has started implementing the recent changes.
Sourcing your Vehicle from Overseas
Some two decades ago, if you wanted to buy vehicles from the USA, Canada, or Europe, you would need to travel to auction yards nationwide to place your bids. Recently, the internet has improved the ease of buying and importing cars from overseas.
If you need to purchase foreign-used vehicles today, you only require the services of car auction websites or a car-buying agent (auto broker). Likewise, you can make payments for your car and shipping online or through your car broker and have your vehicles shipped to your desired Nigerian port.
You need to consult with the agent to import a motor vehicle with such a service successfully. There, you will have the chance to explain your needs and requirements. The best way to start is to make a request.
See example → Request Your Car.
But wait! Do you know the automobile sites you can search for in Germany, the EU, the United States, and Canada to find your desired cars? We do not want to throw you into cold water and ask you to swim. We have compiled a list to assist you in searching for a vehicle.
Cost Of Transporting A Vehicle
Some auto buyers do not know that when they purchase a vehicle in a particular country, there may be a transportation charge for carrying it from the buying location to the shipping agent’s garage.
We mentioned it in some of our articles, particularly concerning buying a car in Germany. Here, the cost of transporting a vehicle from the A to B location remains the same. The transporters charge 1 Euro per km.
Shipping your Vehicle to Nigeria
After you’ve made payment for your desired vehicle, you can have the auction company or car broker arrange your vehicle’s shipping. Auction websites often have affiliated shipping companies that work with them. Alternatively, you can contact one of many independent shipping companies to deliver your vehicle for onward shipping to Nigeria.
Available shipping methods and options you can rely on to move your purchase from overseas to Nigeria include:
- Full Containerized Shipping
- RoRo Shipping
- Container Groupage
Restrictions and Requirements for Car Importation to Nigeria
Cars/Vans/Pickups older than 15 years are not allowed for importation into Nigeria. Therefore, any motor vehicle above this age attracts a penalty. New cars require Form M. The consignee must obtain it in Nigeria before shipping. All vehicles to be imported must have a clear title of ownership.
Vehicle Import Duty In Nigeria
The Nigerian Customs Service is responsible for clearing imported vehicles at Nigerian ports. A couple of years ago, the cost of a car customs clearance in Nigeria depended mainly on the vehicle’s type and age. The import duty position adopted placed the clearance cost at about 22% of the vehicle’s actual price.
Today, the parameters for determining clearing costs have changed. There is a 35% import duty charge on imported vehicles plus an additional 35% levy, which brings the total clearing cost to 70% of the vehicle’s price. This 48% increase in clearing charge was a move by the government to discourage importation while encouraging locally manufactured cars in Nigeria.
How to Clear Your Vehicle at the Ports
After your shipping company has landed your vehicle at the port, you need a clearing agency to complete the process of clearing your vehicle.
Although there are steps you can complete yourself. You may consider using a licensed clearing agent for the most part. Below are the necessary steps and documents you will need:
Bill of Lading
A Bill of lading is a document that contains all information such as model, year, VIN/chassis number, weight, and name of conveying vessel, the port of origin and discharge, and also details of the consignee to receive the vehicle in Nigeria. You should receive this document from your shipping company ahead of time before the arrival of your car. You can obtain it through express courier or email, which you’ll need to print.
Application for Duty Valuation
This application has to be written by a licensed customs clearing agency. It accompanies a copy of the BOL (Bill of Loading) and addresses the Nigerian Custom Office, e.g., Tincan, Apapa, and Onne.
In response to this application, the customs office will provide your clearing agent with your vehicle’s duty valuation in dollars. This dollar value will calculate your vehicle’s 35% surface duty. An additional 35% levy is charged, which brings the total clearing cost to 70%. For example,
The customs office determines a $5,000 value for your foreign-used vehicle. The calculation of surface duty is as follows:
$5,000 X (35/100) X N380 (Customs official dollar rate) = N665, 000
There may be other charges which could arise in the processing. Please verify them with your customs clearance agent.
Your clearing agency will obtain a Direct Trader Input, also called Assessment Notice or Single Goods Declaration Form, upon submitting the duty valuation obtained from above. This document will describe the transaction, such as vehicle type, terminal location, approved duty amount, and vehicle contents (if any).
This step, commonly called “punching,” is significant among all the steps involved in importing cars to Nigeria. It merely means to input the car’s details and the Nigerian Customs server’s duty valuation. They need the consignee’s TIN (Tax Identification Number) to process the DTI.
Import Duty Payment
Proceed to the bank with the above assessment notice to pay your import duty. You get a receipt upon payment.
Collate All Documents
Put together the bank’s duty payment receipt, assessment notice, valuation copy, and bill of lading. Submit all to the customs office, where the vehicle will be registered and scheduled for physical examination upon confirmation that the correct duty amount has been paid. Otherwise, the car will be alerted until the owner makes the proper duty payment. If things are right, the releasing officer receives a report to release the vehicle.
Release at Shipping Company
You must assemble your vehicle’s original signed bill of lading, SGD, and signed copy of the consignee’s ID and submit it to your shipping company. The following are acceptable for the consignee’s ID: driver’s license, international passport, national ID, or certificate of incorporation for a company.
You’ll also need a copy of Form C30 (Custom documents that license custom agencies to operate) and a letter of authorization from your clearing agency. In return, your shipping company will give you an assessment to pay any outstanding shipping and terminal charges, and upon payment, you get an exit copy.
Clearing at Customs Gate Office
You are almost free to go at this point, but not entirely. You’ll submit your shipping company’s customs release document and exit copy at the Customs gate office. Upon verification, your documents will be stamped and signed. You get a terminal delivery order with your shipping company’s payment receipt and a copy of the signed gate document.
Final Custom Check
With the TDO (Terminal Delivery Order) issued from above, your vehicle can now be released to the open floor in readiness to cross the exit gate out of the port. Albeit not without a final custom check.
Contact Information of Nigerian Customs Authority
If you’re looking for the Nigerian Customs Service’s contact number and email, we have it handy below. You can also contact the Nigeria Customs Service for inquiries bordering on importation.
Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters
Last But Not Least, Vehicle Importation To Nigeria
The processes involved in buying, shipping, and clearing vehicles overseas can seem very strenuous for a beginner. But if you follow the information in this guide on how to import cars to Nigeria in 2021, you will have a good plan and achieve success.
You can always hire a company or agent to act on your behalf between buying, shipping, and clearing processes.
We recommend that buyers who might feel overwhelmed by the process use a car broker. A car broker checks the brand and model of the car you wish to buy. They ensure the car has specifications in your request before proceeding to payment on your behalf.
Most car broker services also arrange to ship and sometimes clear as part of their service. If you want a free consultation with us to import your vehicle, click the button below to schedule a one-on-one consultation.