How to Clear a Car in Nigeria Port after Arrival

After some weeks, the car(s) you ordered is in Nigeria. But, do you know that you have to clear the car before it becomes usable? You may have learned this while you went to obtain your car at the port. But not to worry, this article tackles how to clear a car in Nigeria. You will as well find out the process of clearing a car in Nigeria without future problems.

Do you know how to import car from USA to Nigeria?

Still in this article, you will discover the cost of clearing cars in Nigeria and how it is measured. Another question that bothers people is “how long does it take to clear a car in Nigeria?” This will equally be addressed so as to provide you a glimpse of what to expect while clearing any car.

how to clear a car in Nigeria

The Following are Those You will Make Payments to

  • Freight Company
  • NCS – The Nigerian Customs
  • Clearance Agents
  • Terminal Point
  • The Bank (import duty)

What You Will Spend On

Follow this section to estimate the cost of clearing cars in Nigeria accurately.

  • Used Cars: 35% surface duty and 5% Vat charge (40%).
  • New Cars: 35% duty, 35% Levy, and 5% Vat charge (75%).
  • Shipping charges (car weight, model, type, and size-dependent).
  • Final Tollgate charges.

Before You Proceed

Have in mind that some of the stages require getting backup from clearing agents or clearance companies.

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  1. Obtain Car Bill of Lading (BOL)

The first step on how to clear a car in Nigeria is to obtain a car Bill of Lading. This is sometimes referred to as Way Bill. The BOL will be sent to you by the shipping company. Using any of the available courier services in Nigeria like DHL and FEDEX, you should be able to get the car BOL (Bill of Lading).

The BOL is very vital as it contains all the information that verifies car ownership. It contains details such as the name of carrier, name of shipper, loading port, discharge port, car in carriage, etc. With all of these, it becomes easy to track the car. This bill will equally be requested in the later stages of these processes of clearing a car in Nigeria properly.

  1. Value Your Car with Nigerian Customs Service (NCS)

The second step on how to clear a car in Nigeria concerns car valuation with NCS. You will need a letter drafted with the letterhead of a clearance agency. Attach the letter with the car Bill of Lading and forward it to the NCS for the valuation of the car.

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The car valuation will be calculated with 35% surface duty charges. In cases where a car is new, there will be an additional 35% charge.

Wondering how this is calculated? Look below for an accurate representation.

Assuming the imported car costs $10,000, it will be multiplied as:

Cost of Car x Import Duty x Dollar Rate. That is:

10,000 x 35% x 3605

NCS will issue you a copy of the valuation. This is needed for the next stage concerning how to clear a car in Nigeria.

  1. Prepare Single Goods Declaration (SGD)

This is simply the submission of NCS car valuation to the Nigerian Customs website. This process will require a certified clearing agency since they are usually provided with the Tax Identification Number of Consignee.

Preparing SGD will require the Bill of Lading, NCS valuation form, Clearance Permit. To prepare SGD, head to the office of an importer or a licensed agent (we earlier said that certain stages require licensed agents). The Direct Trader Input (DTI) will prepare the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) that corresponds with the NCS valuation form and Bill of Lading. Here are the steps involves:

  • SGD information will be captured.
  • SGD will be assessed.
  • Print the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) form and Assessment Notice provided.
  • Now, sign the SGD form and place it back with the Bill of Lading and NCS valuation form.

What Single Goods Declaration Form Contains

This form contains the necessary information about your car. It contains information like car type, Customs duty charges, and also specifies whether there is an additional package in the car.

What Assessment Notice Contains

The Assessment Notice contains a report of the assessment done on the car.

Please Note: In cases where NCS Form M is required, whatever bank you choose while entering information on SGD is the bank you will make payments to. This is because the NCS system always forwards a message containing what you will pay to the bank. The message includes Nigerian Customs duty and other related charges like Vat, etc.

  1. Make Import Duty Payments

After printing Single Goods Declaration Form and Assessment Notice, go to the bank with the Assessment Notice. There is also an option to make import payments online which you might want to consider. If you make a bank payment, obtain the payment teller and receipt. The bank will then notify the NCS system that all payments concerning your shipment have been made. We recommend making bank payments since it provides you with physical papers for verification.

  1. Request Car Release

Under this stage, the documents may be requested.

  • Bill of Lading
  • A copy of NCS valuation
  • Single Goods Declaration Form
  • Assessment Notice
  • Import duty payment receipt
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You are to go to the Direct Trader Café (DTI) and make a request for the release of your car. When the request for the documents above, make the submission and await a scan. If a problem is encountered, NCS will schedule for the vehicle inspection. This particular inspection is more like verification to crosscheck errors or falsification of import data.

Note: If any outstanding duty is discovered, the NCS system will not permit the release of your car until such duty is covered.

  1. Submit Single Goods Declaration Form to Freight Company

The purpose of this submission is to verify the true owner of the stated vehicle and apply for a release. The required document here is the Single Goods Declaration Form which the shipping or freight company uses to verify and issue you a copy of Exit.

  1. Apply for Vehicle/Shipment Release with the Freight Company

The documents required to apply for car release with the freight company include the following:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Single Goods Declaration Form
  • Exit Form
  • The ID of consignee: Drivers license, ID card, etc.
  • Nigerian Customs Service Form C30
  1. Stamp Your Documents at Customs Gate

Documents required at Customs gate include:

  • Nigerian Customs Release
  • Exit copy from the freight company

These forms will be verified by the seating officer. If there are no accompanying issues, the officer will stamp the forms which clear your car exit.

After requesting for the release of the car, the NCS Risk Management System grades the risk level of the car clearance. There are 4 Risks and they include:

  • Green
  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • Red

If it reads Green/Yellow, your car is okayed by the NCS (Nigerian Customs) but if it reads Yellow/Red, there are documents to check as well as some examinations.

  1. Collect an Exit Note from Terminal Operator

Documents that may be required to collect the Exit Note include:

  • Receipt from the freight company
  • SGD Folder
  • A stamped release copy collected from the Nigerian Customs gate office
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Submit these documents and obtain the Terminal Order Delivery. The Terminal Operator will make further verifications and issue you an Exit Note.

  1. Apply for Vehicle Delivery

This stage requires a simple submission of documents for it to be moved to the delivery point in the port. It is just the simplest process of clearing a car in Nigeria before exiting the port.

  1. Await NCS/Shipper Confirmations

The final inspection will take place and this will involve the Nigerian Customs Service personnel and the freight company. Once the inspection is successful, the stress is over and the car will approach the toll gate.

  1. Final Toll

This is the final process of clearing a car in Nigeria successfully. Here, the NCS officer at the exit gate will confirm your exit on the NCS system. The officer will be notified that your car has been released and it’s free to exit the port. You may be required to pay a toll fee to the officer on seat before departure.

How Long Does it Take to Clear a Car in Nigeria

The most common question concerning how to clear a car in Nigeria is “how many days does it take to clear a car in Nigeria”. It does not take long, however, it depends on how well you understand and follow instructions during the process. The normal number of days is 3 days and sometimes just 2 days. It can as extend to 4, 5, 7 days, etc. depending on circumstances.

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How You Do Cars’ Thought

This article has presented everything concerning how to clear a car in Nigeria successfully. Would you rather go through this or employ the services of a clearing agent/company? Even if you would be employing an agent to run around on your behalf, this piece still made a good read. This article has, at least, exposed you to the entire processes of clearing imported cars in Nigeria.

See this Nairaland thread for something.

After clearing your car from the port, know all documents required to drive a car in Nigeria to avoid harassment.

Meanwhile, before you order for that SUV, check these 9 Best SUV to Drive in Nigeria in any state.

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