Export to Nigeria

export to nigeria

Nigeria’s future is looking bright: in addition to being Africa’s most populous country and largest oil producer, the country also overtook South Africa to be the continent’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s customers are increasingly turning their spending power to the UK for higher-quality (though not necessarily luxury) goods. Supported by bilateral trade agreements and a shared language, British companies with a view to export to Nigeria have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve and tap into this market at an early stage.

Sources: Bloomberg Business Week, GOV.UK, McKinsey Global Institute, UKTI, The World Bank

For more detailed information when trading with Nigeria, download our Nigeria Fact Sheet.



Nigeria Fact Sheet (3MB)

Read more detailed
information about Nigeria

DHL Facts

Locations: 237

Gateways into the country: 1

Number of Service Centres: 35

DHL Delivery Zone: 10

Vehicle Fleet: 265

Nigeria: Country Profile
Population: 174.5 million Exports from
US$ 95.68 billion (2012 est.)
Area: 923,768 sq km Export
Petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber
Official Language: English (official); 500+ indigenous languages including Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani Top Export Origins: Ghana, UK, Cote d’Ivoire, USA, Niger, South Africa, Cameroon, Canada, Togo
Currency: 1 naira (NGN) = 100 kobo IMPORTS INTO NIGERIA
GDP: US$ 444.3 billion Imports into
US$ 53.36 billion (2012 est.)
Time Zones: UTC +1; no summertime observed Import Commodities: Machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals.
Ethnic Groups: 250+ known groups, including Hausa and Fulani (29%), Yoruba (21%), Igbo (Ibo) (18%), Ijaw (10%), Kanuri (4%), Ibibio (3.5%), Tiv (2.5%) Top Import Origins: USA, UK, France, South Africa, Italy
Transit Times
The times provided for
dutiable shipments
are based on the time
expected for customs
in Nigeria to clear the
shipment. This is
contingent upon
the value of the shipment.
Destination Non-Dutiable Shipment Dutiable Shipment
Abuja 2 days 3 days
Lagos 2 days 3 days
Port Harcourt 3 days 4 days
Kano 3 days 5 days
Enugu 3 days 4 days
  • Important information

    There is no minimum threshold (duty free allowance) so all imports are subject to duty and taxes. Duty rates vary from 0% to 35%, depending on the commodity. VAT is levied on imports at a standard rate of 5%, based on the sum of CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) value, duty & excise and other taxes, if applicable.

    Commercial invoices should clearly include details of the cost of the items, cost of insurance and freight charges.

    SONCAP certification is required for many products, for details see

    DHL can assist you with trading with Nigeria. Contact the DHL team on 0844 248 0675.

    DHL Customer Services is also available on 0844 248 0844.

Prohibited Items Specific to Nigeria

The list below is in addition to DHL’s standard list of prohibited items.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Animal products
  • Antiques
  • Asbestos
  • Assembled bicycles
  • Barytes & Bentonites
  • Dangerous goods, hazardous or combustible materials
  • Firearms, or parts of
  • Foodstuffs: Sugar confectionary/sweets (other than chocolate), sorghum, millet, wheat flour, spaghetti & noodles, mineral water, maize, fruit juice in retail packs and other non alcoholic beverages
  • Furniture
  • Furs
  • Gambling devices
  • Glass: Hollow and bottles with capacity exceeding 150mls (0.15ltr)
  • Industrial equipment: Cutlasses, axes, wheel barrows, bagged cement, spades & shovels, plus used compressors, air-conditioners, fridges & freezers
  • Invoices, blank
  • Ivory
  • Mosquito repellent coils
  • Perishables: Fresh fruit, meat & meat products, vegetable oil, poultry, cocoa butter, powder & cakes
  • Personal effects consisting of handbags, bags, belts, wallets, purses and suitcases made of leather or plastic
  • Plants: Fresh and plastic flowers
  • Plastic plates, knives, spoons, forks, cups, buckets, bowls, bins, containers and coat hangers
  • Precious metals & stones
  • Shoes made of leather or plastic
  • Soaps & Detergents
  • Textiles with African prints
  • Tobacco
  • Used clothing

Restricted items specific to Nigeria:

Drugs: Non-prescription Detailed packing list or invoice and reason for export required. Contact DHL Customer Services if items are to be shipped on a commercial scale. Vitamins, dietary, hair, nail, skin, herbal and health food supplements are allowed for private use only.

Drugs: Prescription (1) NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration) Certificate of Registration or Letter of Authorisation as issued to the recipient giving permission for importation into Nigeria. (2) Evidence of the product being registered with NAFDAC. (3) A Certificate of Manufacture and free sale. (4) A Packing list. (5) A supplier’s invoice. (6) If the drugs originate from India they must also have a Certificate of Analysis Letter issued by Messrs. QCS Consultants who are NAFDAC's appointed analysts in India. Further information on the consultant can be obtained from the Nigerian Embassy in India.

Whilst drugs for personal use are exempt from the above requirements, they must be accompanied by a doctor's prescription, and must be in quantities considered 'reasonable' by NAFDAC for an individual to be taking.

For foodstuffs, military equipment, seeds and x-ray machines please contact DHL Customer Services before shipping.