Nigeria - Country Commercial Guide
Import Tariffs

Includes information on average tariff rates and types that U.S. firms should be aware of when exporting to the market

Last published date: 2021-10-13

Nigeria began the implementation of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Common External Tariffs (CET) on January 1, 2015 in compliance with ECOWAS’ adoption of a five-band regional CET.  The CET was slated to be fully harmonized by 2020 but is not yet complete.  ECOWAS CET seeks to liberalize trade in line with WTO guidelines by harmonizing tariff charges within ECOWAS countries and strengthening its common market vis-à-vis non-member countries. Nigeria is among ten ECOWAS member countries which have adopted the CET thus far. ECOWAS expected the remaining five countries to adopt the CET by January 2017.  However, member countries, including Nigeria, can continue to employ restrictive trade policies on many food and agricultural products. To this end, the government of Nigeria (GON) since August 2019 closed Nigeria’s land borders with Benin and Niger to curb smuggling of mostly agricultural products from the said markets. GON has stated that the action was based on the governments of both Benin and Niger failing to adhere to the tenets of the ECOWAS CET.

Nigeria maintains several supplemental levies and duties on selected imports that significantly raise effective tariff rates. For example, Nigeria has an effective duty (tariff, levy, excise, and value added tax (VAT) where applicable) of 50% or more on over 80 tariff lines.  These include about 35 tariff lines whose effective duties exceed the 70% limit set by ECOWAS. Most of these items are luxury goods such as yachts, motorboats, and other vehicles for pleasure (75%), as well as on alcohol (75% to 95%) and tobacco products (95%). In addition, Nigeria places high effective duty rates on imports into strategic sectors to boost the competitiveness of the local industries. In agriculture, wheat (85%), sugar (75%), rice (70%), and tomato paste (50%). In the mining sector, salt (70%) and cement (55%).

In October 2013, the GON announced an Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), which seeks to expand domestic vehicle manufacturing.  The NAIDP imposes a 35% levy on automobile imports, in addition to the 35% tariff already levied, for an effective total duty of 70%. The NAIDP allows companies that manufacture or assemble cars in Nigeria to import one vehicle for every one manufactured in Nigeria.