In international trade, there are cases where goods or items imported are carried out temporarily for a particular purpose. These items are special and serve within a brief period, and are then re-exported away to their origin or anywhere else.  In processing a temporary import license in Nigeria, there are certain important details to be aware of. In this post, we give you a quick tip about the subject matter.

One major characteristic of this type of permit is that it does not readily require duty payment as they require a Temporary Import Permit.

What is a Temporary Import?

A temporary import allows goods to be brought into a country for a brief period of time. The goods may be imported to Nigeria for specific projects and with the absolute intention to re-export them back after a specific period of time.

To this, an initial period of one year is usually permitted at most, before or after which the goods are expected to leave the shores of the country. 

It is mostly benefited by businesses who ship internationally where their import duties are totally or partially suspended. In fact, this allows the business to ship in goods without the import duty. 

There are different types of temporary import depending on the goods and reason for shipping.

The position of Temporary Import Permit by Legal Provisioning (CEMA) 

According to Section 42 (1) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), the provision states as follows:

“…where the Board is satisfied that goods are imported only temporarily and are intended to be re-exported or consumed on board the importing ship or aircraft, it may permit the goods to be delivered on importation, or to remain on board the importing ship or aircraft for re-exportation or consumption on board as the case may be, subject to such conditions as it sees fit to impose, without payment of duty….”

Based on the above section, the NIgeria Customs service by interpretation, grants a concession to import the items on a temporary basis only when it meets with the condition that it will be re-exported within a specifically short period of time. 

This form of approval is regarded as Temporary Import Permit and usually at the discretion of the Nigerian Customs Service. 

Generally, it is expected that the TIP should be obtained, prior to shipping the items/goods to Nigeria.

The requirement for Obtaining a Temporary Import Permit

The Nigerian bank or Insurance Company is mandated to issue a TIP Bond which happens to be the requirement for obtaining a temporary import permit.

This bond covers an equivalent value to the import duty payable and an additional amount not exceeding 25% of the import duty. 

The TIP bond is to remain in force for its entire duration (and any extensions thereof), and where the terms of the TIP are breached, the bond will be forfeited. Source.

Validity Period of a Temporary Import Permit

A Temporary Import Permit, when issued, stays valid for a period of twelve (12) months from the date it is issued. 

However, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) reserves the right to extend the Temporary Import Permit further on her discretion, for two (2) further periods of six (6) months each, culminating in a maximum TIP period of twenty–four (24) months. 

Although this extension may be approved only where the cause for such extension is reasonable enough. At the expiration of the approved time scheduled, the equipment must be re-exported and clearance obtained from the Nigerian Customs, contrary to which the imported goods are converted for consumption. 

The temporary import permit is required to be processed before the arrival of equipment at the destination port. 

Can Temporary Import Permit be abused?

Recently, it was reported that there has been an abuse of the TIP opportunity by those that are benefiting from it. The report showed that they bring in their own ship and after one year they take it back to their country and import it back with a different name entirely. This, NIMASA and the Nigerian Customs Duty frowns at.

Wrap Up

As always, our over 20 years of running Freight Shipping and Customs Clearing Business in Nigeria has leveraged quite a good number of importers and exporters with values. We have helped a lot of them record possible successes in their businesses.

This post is for informational purposes, although we are open for a business discussion with you whenever you are ready or willing to import or export your consignments. Our years of experience in Freight Shipping and Customs Clearing has led our way up above peers and that is why we at Bowa-gate Global Limited have been able to identify what works and what does not in the interest of our growing customer base.

We are willing to take you through a whole new perspective.

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