Nigeria - Country Commercial Guide
Temporary Entry
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The Board of Customs and Excise grants temporary importation status and duty waiver for the importation of the eligible machinery and equipment for government-approved projects that are to be re-exported within a period of six months. However, there is a process for extensions.  Eligible machinery includes:

  • Aircraft;
  • Ships/vessels/boats;
  • Barges/pontoons/tugs for oil exportation or approved projects;
  • Dredgers for soil erosion projects or oil drilling operation;
  • Oil rigs and accessories;
  • Super cranes used for petrochemical construction/oil exploration and related projects

As part of temporary entry requirements, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), may provide the concession to import on a temporary basis. Such concessions are normally granted for oil rigs, ships, barges, and other special equipment of high value (typically around $100,000), provided that such equipment is not available for purchase/rent in Nigeria and will be subsequently exported.

Temporary importation is not available for consumable items and most vehicles. For other commodities, importers need to obtain prior clarification from the Customs Head Office in Abuja.

The temporary importation approval from NCS must be obtained prior to shipment. Goods imported under temporary importation are exempt from both the Form M and pre-shipment inspection procedures. 

Required documents for temporary import application:

  • Pro-forma invoice from the owner to the Nigerian importer, stating the cost and freight of the item(s) to be imported
  • Lease Agreement between the owner of the equipment and the Nigerian importer, specifying the equipment, the lease period, lease cost and other lease conditions
  • Brochures and / or technical manuals describing the item(s) to be imported
  • Copy of registration certificate (vessels & rigs only)
  • Copy of measurement certificate (vessels & rigs only)
  • Permit to operate in Nigerian waters from the Federal Ministry of Transport
  • Photocopy of the complete contract(s) between the importer and the main contractor, clearly indicating the duration of the contract and providing information about the purpose of the equipment to be temporary imported. Contracts must establish the link between the signatories and GON
  • Photocopy of importer’s Tax Clearance Certificate for 3 years
  • Photocopy of importer’s Certificate of Incorporation
  • Letter from importer addressed to Concessionary Logistics Limited authorizing the application for temporary importation on their behalf and stating the reasons for Temporary Importation

Application for Temporary Importation

Upon receipt of the documents mentioned above, the freight provider issues an application to the Comptroller General of NCS in Abuja. A minimum bond amount is fixed by NCS headquarters and is indicated on the formal temporary importation approval letter. Following the submission of the temporary importation approval to the Customs Area Comptroller at the port of entry, the cargo will be physically examined, and the bond amount will be fixed as surety.

The process of applying for and getting approval for temporary importation takes a minimum of four weeks. It is therefore advisable that this timing should be taken into consideration to allow enough time for application, approval, shipment, inspection, and clearing.

Bond Security

Normally the security amount or “bond penalty” corresponds with the customs duty, surcharge, and VAT payable upon normal importation, plus approximately 25%. The penalty can be assessed differently at the discretion of the Customs Area Comptroller. Prior to the release of the cargo by Customs, security for the customs duty must be provided through a bond issued by one of the banks designated for the collection of Customs duties. Insurance bonds and cash deposits are not accepted by NCS.

Duration of Temporary Importation

A temporary importation is approved for an initial period of one year and can be extended twice for six months. The maximum total period of a temporary importation is two years and extensions beyond that period are granted by NCS on a case-by-case basis only for a further period of three or six months.

Required documents for request for extension of temporary importation:

  1. Copy of agreement (addendum) jointly signed by contractor and sub-contractor specifying that contract is still under execution and stating the duration of the contract. Please note that variation of contract/service agreement is not acceptable.
  2. Copy Form Sale 33
  3. Copy of initial temporary importation approval
  4. Copy of registration certificate (vessels & rigs only)
  5. Covering letter to Customs applying for extension of temporary importation
  6. Letter from insurance, bank confirming validity of bond, and copy of bond to be attached


After completion of the contract, cargo previously imported on a temporary basis must be re-exported.

A bill of entry is prepared along with other export documentation. These documents will also be required for the cancellation of the temporary importation bond.

Change of Temporary Importation to Importation for Home Use

In a case where cargo imported temporary will remain in Nigeria permanently, an approval from Customs Headquarters in Abuja is required. This approval must be obtained prior to converting the goods to permanent importation.

Duty, surcharge, and VAT applicable at the time of importation will be payable at that point. This procedure also applies to items covered under temporary importation which have been scrapped.

Cancellation of Temporary Importation Bond

To cancel a temporary importation bond, the NCS will require evidence that the cargo has been either exported or Customs cleared for home use. If NCS is satisfied with the documentary evidence, the bond will be cancelled with a letter from customs to the bond-issuing bank, with copy to the clearing agent.

The importer in whose name the temporary importation was granted by Customs will always be held responsible for the full regularization or re-exportation of the equipment.

Please note that temporary importation is not transferable.