In this post, we put together a simple guide on how to obtain Form M, why it is important for importation, how it is processed and obtained in Nigeria.
The process of obtaining and processing the Form can be quite easy. It, however, requires adequate steps to get through. This requires accessing the right channels in order to avoid falling into the wrong processing.
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What is Form M (e-Form M)?
Form M is a mandatory statutory document to be completed by all importers for the importation of goods into Nigeria. This simply implies that without the form, goods can not be approved for importation into Nigeria.
The documentation process is put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
For the record, e-Form M means Electronics Form M (an Online Form)
A Form M is usually issued for a particular importation contract. It allows the importer to access part shipments through the use of Bulk Form M for a large project. And throughout the validity of the form, it allows continuous part shipment.
Why is Form M Important for Importation
The importance of the mandatory document, as early denoted, has so much to do with proper monitoring of incoming goods. It also enables the collection of import duties where applicable.
Form M is useful for the purpose of import clearance. And strictly, without it, an importer would definitely not be able to import their goods into Nigeria.
Before we proceed to how to obtain Form M, let’s see some important facts about it.
Read Also: List of Prohibited Items for Importation in Nigeria
Important Facts About Form M
1. It is a Mandatory Document. It is a mandatory step in the importation process.
2. The form is the first official document needed to initiate shipment into Nigeria
3. It is an application to import. Without it, no importation.
4. The Form is an important license that must be processed with or without payment of processing fee.
5. It must be processed before the goods to be imported is shipped into Nigeria.
6. Importers are expected to complete and register the Form with Authorized Dealers at the time of placing orders whether the transaction is valid for foreign exchange or not.
7. It is an Electronics Form (e-Form) process Form M is an e-form. This replaces the hard copy for procedures in order to reduce corruption while limiting human interference.
8. With the Form, goods imported into the country are easily monitored.
9. Initiation and Approval of Form M is now on Trade Portal
10. It also exits to enable or facilitate collection of import duties where applicable.
11. The form is only transmitted to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for approval after it has gained endorsement by the authority.
12. The validity or lifespan of an approved Form M is 180 days for general merchandise and 365 days for plant and machinery. It can be extended.
13. An extension of another 180 days for general merchandise and 365 days for plant and machinery can be granted by an Authorized Dealer Bank.
All you need to prepare before opening an E-Form M
Before an importer can open an E-Form M, there are procedures that must be completed. They are as follows:
(a.) Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of the Company in Nigeria
Anyone who intends to import into Nigeria should be in Nigeria and must have a company registered. Such must have obtained a Certificate of Incorporation.
(b.) Registration with the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS)
The registered company must be also registered with FIRS for tax-related issues.
(c.) Up-to-date Tax Payment and Tax Identification Number (TIN)
Importers must have an up-to-date tax payment record with proof. Then the TIN shall be required in order to raise a Form M.
(d.) Valid e-mail address tagged to the TIN number
Ensure that your email address is valid and must be the same linked to the TIN number for correspondence purposes.
(e.) Choose an Authorized Dealer Bank
Choose a bank as your Dealer. Any commercial bank in Nigeria can be used as an Authorized Dealer Bank. This is the bank that will process the E-Form M, as well as initiate clearance by processing the Post Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).
Contact us to learn more If you want to learn more or obtain assistance, please contact us.
How to Obtain Form M
In obtaining form M, the following procedures are to be followed:
- Submit your Form application online to an Authorized Dealer Bank along with the following attached documents:
- Pro forma invoice
- Locally sourced Insurance Certificate
- Regulatory Certificates/Permits. Depending on your product this may be a Product Certificate* (for all products regulated by Standards Organization of Nigeria – SON) or a National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Certificate (for food and drugs).
- The completed form is submitted to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) through the designated bank of the importer, for approval.
- Upon receipt of the form with the necessary attached pre-import documents as detailed above, the NCS will review the application and either accept or reject it within one working day.
- If accepted, the NCS approves the request of the importer to import the goods
- If rejected, the NCS communicates the reason(s) for rejection and the documents will be automatically returned for rectification.
- When the Form is approved or accepted by the NCS, the importer informs his exporter to begin shipment preparation for products regulated by SON. This includes inspection, testing, and certification in order to get a SONCAP Certificate (SC) required for the Customs clearance of goods at any Nigerian Port.
Contact BowaGate Global for Help
Want to learn more about Form M or talk to us about your Shipment?
Give us a call: 08147068472. Our lines are open during business hours, so you can speak to a real person. Or send an Email: [email protected]
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