Logistic and forwarding services in Nigeria


Capital City

178,5 Mio.

National languages
English (local language), local languages and dialects

Naira (NGN)

Gross national product (GNP)
USD 515 Mia.

GNP per person
USD 2884

Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 240.63 Mio.

Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 783.09 Mio.

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Nigeria

Nigeria is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa on which Switzerland focuses its greatest efforts to safeguard its interests. Relations are good and close, encompassing not only economic matters but also high-level political meetings, institutionalised talks on human rights issues and a migration partnership.

Economic cooperation

After South Africa, Nigeria is Switzerland’s second-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria exports mainly crude oil, while Swiss exports primarily comprise machines, pharmaceuticals and other chemical products as well as textiles. Due to its oil imports, Switzerland has a very negative trade balance with Nigeria. Some 60 to70 Swiss firms are active in Nigeria, mainly in the south of the country. Swiss direct investments amount to about USD 300m, employing about 4,000 people.
An aviation agreement has been in force since 1980. In 2000, Switzerland and Nigeria concluded an agreement on the mutual protection and promotion of investments. In addition, since 1980s, the two countries have implemented several debt restructuring agreements in Nigeria’s favour.
Switzerland was the first country to return to Nigeria assets embezzled by the former dictator Sani Abacha and his family. The sum totalled USD 700m. The Swiss financial centre has an interest not to become a safe haven for illicitly acquired assets.


Business language



Dimensions and weights

Metric system.



National currency Naira (N) = 100 Kobo (k)

ISO code: NGN


Customs tariff

Harmonised system.


Import control

There is a general ban on the import of certain goods. A current, full list of products can be viewed at the Chamber of Commerce.

An import authorisation issued by the Plant Quarantine Service is required for plants and an import authorisation issued by the Pharmaceutical Registrar is required for pharmaceuticals. Goods including cosmetics, medications, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and electronic goods are subject to further registration obligations. A product and SONCAP certificate (certificate of conformity) are required for most goods. Application to the competent inspection companies appointed by the SON (Nigerian standardisation authorities).

All banks must carry out their transactions at the rate set at the weekly foreign currency auctions by the central bank. Payment from a letter of credit or in cash is required for imports.

To obtain foreign currencies for import, six copies of application on form “M” must be submitted via a commercial bank and the Naira equivalent value deposited for the import. Four copies of a pro forma invoice are also required. Form “M” is available from the inspection companies, Nigerian embassies and banks.

The importer must conclude insurance with a provider registered in Nigeria.

Standard VAT rate: 5%


Destination inspection

Instructions from the Federal Ministry of Finance mean that a quality, quantity and price inspection and customs tariff check is required for all goods. The shipment is assessed for risk class and a decision is made as to whether a document check, a screening of the goods or a full inspection of the shipment by the customs in Nigeria is to be carried out (consultation with the importer required).


Pre-shipment inspection

Imports are subject to controls from USD 2.500. The certificate number must be communicated to the shipping or air freight agents before loading.


Terms of payment and tenders

Payment in advance or irrevocable, confirmed letter of credit (From banks. Counterfeit letters of credit are common).

Tenders in English. Invoices in EUR CFR.


Designations of origin

Goods with misleading names must have a designation of origin (“Made in …”).



Marking and labelling in English.

There are special regulations for medications, chemicals, foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.



The country of origin must be indicated on freight packages. Seaworthy packaging, use strong boxes. Straw is prohibited as a packaging material. Comply with the special regulations on imports in containers. Ask the freight forwarder.


Product samples

Duty free if they have no retail value. For samples subject to duty brought by travelling salesmen: ask for deepened details.


Shipping and accompanying documents

Difficulties with processing can occur as a result of the use of outdated forms or the use of different forms of the same type (“that is not the right form”) for the same items (recommendation: ask the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or sources with experience of Nigeria). Addresses should be clear and indicate the precise postal district. The SONCAP certificate has been required to import certain goods since 05/09/09 unless they are the responsibility of the NAFDAC.

Standard and for:

a) Customs invoices for customs clearance, 3 copies (form C 16/CCVO) in English including a Certificate of Value and a Certificate of Origin. Both must be signed before a witness so the invoice has a total of 4 signatures (original signatures), customs invoices uncertified (Special regulations from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce are not required due to authorisations including those related to goods).

b) Commercial invoices, standard information, no certification required.

c) Certificates of origin not generally required; as the origin, indicate “Swiss” in the case of Swiss goods, or “European Union” for goods originating from UE. CIC (Chamber of Industry and Commerce), certificates of origin.

d) Movement certificate, EUR 1 or UE not required.

e) Bills of lading uncertified; order bills of lading with a notify address possible. Note: no ship more than 15 years old may enter a Nigerian port.

f) Packing list: signed by the supplier and including a description of goods, specifications and standards used, the country of origin, the date of manufacture and where available the batch/lot number must always be included.

g) Manufacturer’s Certificate of Production: this certificate is required with an indication of the standards used. Where this is not applicable, a phytosanitary certificate or a chemical analysis certificate should be provided.

f) Postal packages up to 20 kg, 1 international dispatch note, 1 customs declarations in English/French.