How To Import In Nigeria

Table of Contents

How to Import in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Nigeria is a country that offers great opportunities for importation. With a population of over 200 million people and a growing middle class, there is a high demand for goods and services that are not produced locally. If you are looking to start an importation business in Nigeria, this guide is for you.

Understanding Importation in Nigeria

Importation in Nigeria involves bringing goods from other countries into the country for commercial purposes. It is regulated by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Ministry of Finance. The NCS is responsible for the collection of import duties and other charges on imported goods.

Choosing Your Product

Before you start importing, it is important to choose the right product. You need to consider the demand for the product, the competition, and the profit margin. You should also research the regulations and restrictions on the importation of the product.

Finding a Supplier

To import goods, you need to find a supplier who can provide the products you want at a competitive price. You can search for suppliers online or attend trade fairs and exhibitions. It is important to verify the authenticity of the supplier before making any payment.

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Shipping Your Goods

Once you have found a supplier, you need to arrange for the shipping of your goods. You can use a freight forwarder or shipping agent to handle the logistics. The cost of shipping depends on the weight and volume of the goods and the mode of transportation.

Clearing Your Goods

When your goods arrive in Nigeria, you need to clear them at the port. You need to provide the necessary documentation, including the bill of lading, commercial invoice, and packing list. You will also need to pay import duties and other charges.

Paying Import Duties

Import duties in Nigeria are calculated based on the value of the goods and the applicable tariff rate. The tariff rate varies depending on the classification of the goods. You can find the applicable tariff rates on the NCS website.

Getting a SONCAP Certificate

Certain products require a Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) certificate before they can be imported into the country. The certificate is issued after the product has been tested and meets the required standards.

Dealing with Customs

Dealing with customs can be a daunting task for beginners. It is important to comply with the regulations and procedures to avoid delays and fines. You can engage the services of a customs broker or clearing agent to handle the process on your behalf.

Understanding the Nigerian Market

To succeed in the importation business in Nigeria, you need to understand the Nigerian market. You need to know the preferences and tastes of Nigerian consumers, as well as the cultural and social factors that influence their buying decisions.

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Managing Your Inventory

Managing your inventory is essential for the success of your importation business. You need to keep track of your stock levels and ensure that you have enough inventory to meet demand. You should also have a system for tracking sales and returns.

Marketing Your Products

Marketing is crucial for the success of any business. You need to develop a marketing strategy that will reach your target audience. You can use social media, advertising, and promotions to promote your products.

Financing Your Importation Business

Importation requires a significant amount of capital. You can finance your business through personal savings, bank loans, or investors. It is important to have a solid business plan and financial projections to attract investors and lenders.

Dealing with Challenges

Importation can be challenging, especially for beginners. You may encounter challenges such as delays, customs issues, and competition. It is important to have a contingency plan and be prepared to adapt to changes in the market.


Importation is a lucrative business in Nigeria, but it requires knowledge and expertise. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can start your importation business with confidence. Remember to do your research, choose the right product, and comply with the regulations and procedures.


  1. What is the best product to import in Nigeria?
  2. How much does it cost to import goods into Nigeria?
  3. What are the import duties in Nigeria?
  4. Can I import goods without a SONCAP certificate?
  5. How do I deal with customs issues?