• The Myrth About Nigerian Customs Cargo and Shipping Examination -A must Read!

    Posted on August 24, 2014 by in Freight Forwarder, Shipping, Shipping to Nigeria from London

    Customs 100% cargo examination was introduced in Nigeria December 2010. Primarily to curb some unwholesome activities that formerly engulfed shipping and cargo business. it is aimed at restricting importers and clearing agents from under declarations. Also to halt bringing legally restricted goods(Contraband) into the country.
    By the virtue of the power given to the customs by the Federal government, they are obliged to inspect every cargo shippment into Nigeria.

    The process of custom examination goes this way.

    On air freight: Say a shipper has three pallets of goods that just arrived from London to Muritala Airport or Abuja Airport, Nigerian customs will pick at random and then cross examine the content of the cargoes on any of the contents of the pallets and adequately deal with any unlawful items brought into the country.

    On the sea Freight Side: Every goods that arrived at the sea port from oversea has to be checked in its entirety. The practice which many business bodies in the country seriously frown against, they consider it a total waste of time resources.

    How Customs Examination May Affect Your Goods

    It has been a subject of contention among customers, shippers and clearing agents. Practically, customs has a duty to examine the goods shipped in. Customer could have their stuff inspected at any given time during the clearing process. A process which could bring about some delays in getting goods out faster. Customers often query that the goods they give to the shipper shouldn’t take more than 24 hours to get to their destinations, at most 48 hours.If any customer, especially people that have not done cargo before. They respond with a question as to why it takes a period of 5 to 7 days for their goods to get delivered. In case you’re such a potential customer, that is usually what happen at the back-end which you don’t know. I know a lot of customers reading this, would retort , “No” that’s not true”. Maybe you are such individual who has given your goods to a freight company or some premium freight operators such as DHL or UPS, and the stuff get delivered door to door in Nigeria within 48 hours. Let me quickly shed more light on this. The only variable here is the price customers pay on this premium services. In case you don’t know, every consignment weighing more than 250g, in other words a parcel, any goods that is not more than one piece, falls under what is called personal effect. By definition, personal effect are items that are meant for travellers personal use.Items like these are duty free and no customs declaration is required. On the other hand,items that is more than one piece, two or more items are categorized as commercial items. So if you give items weighing up to 3okg to such premium freight operators, you would pay more, no question asked.

    As explained above, goods which constitute commercial intent are statutorily mandated to undergo customs examination in Nigeria. All customs has to do is to cherry pick on any item in a particular shipment and ask the clearing agent to let them see the content. Because of time factor, customs could create an opening especially on boxes for them to see the content of it. An activity that no known clearing agent is rightfully allowed to hinder.

    …..The controversial Bits

    Any cargo customers which goods fall into the spot-checking ones often think their stuffs have been nicked. In my experience, 4 out of 5 customers that had their goods examined by Nigerian customs come back to the shipper and complain that some things are missing. A particular customer who resides in Nigeria once complained to us that about 40 items were missing from one bag and she signed for its collection on delivery before turning round to say fourty items were missing. Fourty items from one bag! What? and you signed for the receipt of it when it was delivered? I asked. As part of our trading policy, we take every customer complain and concern very seriously. This particular customer was asked to produce all necessary invoices or receipt that actually proof the said fourty items. I said to the customer that anyone could come up and say that 20 Rolex wrist watches were missing from a bag, I said to her. She said she hasn’t got any proof to that effect. Yet her case was not thrown out of the window. I would have thought otherwise but I further asked her if there was any cut or opening from her one bag. The answer to that question was a resounding No! Ok, take a picture of the bag and send it to us, “I can’t be bothered”, she said. She kept sending messages upon messages to us, which we as a company has to respond to all her emails. I think she only just stopped sending messages to us couple of months ago.

    Don’t Get it Twisted and Please Don’t Send Goods to Nigeria Without Reading this

    Customs examination in Nigeria doesn’t mean that your goods will get stolen or seized by either customs or clearing agents. Please understand that there’s an Eighty Per cent chances that your item will not fall into the categories of the customs examinations. But what if it does, your goods will not get stolen or seized.

    Here is how to completely escape Nigeria customs 100 Per Cent Inspection.

    The tip I am about to share is a weird one but I bet you it works like charm….. Read on. The only drag is that it only work for air freight but it might not work with shipping stuff to Nigeria. But at least, it works for one.

    A surefire way of escaping the so called custom inspection is to be clever with how you package your stuff. This may sound unfamiliar to anyone but it is indeed psychological. But before I fully disclose this tip, you should promise me that this would be between you and I. I know I shouldn’t say this on this platform but why not? And please if you’re a member of the Nigerian Custom, I plead with you not get sentimental about this.

    Back to the tip on how you should package your stuff.

    Customs Knife

    Boxes not good for Air Freight

    a) Avoid cartoon for packaging your stuff for air cargo. Reason, they are most vulnerable to customs knives.  Don’t quote me please.
    b) The conventional Ghana-Must Go-Bag, a No, no for freighting.

    Here’s the winning formula.

    Always use suitcases and proper bag whenever you are sending cargo to Nigeria. With this you cannot go wrong. Before writing this I have critically looked deeply into it. In over my eight years in this cargo and shipping business I have not seen where a custom in the right state of mind would want to damage a fine looking suitcase. Even if they attempt to, it would be easier to make a calf pass through the hole of a needle than to knife a clean looking bag .

    For the cheapest,most efficient and top notch shipping experience of your cargo, call on us today. We cover everywhere in the UK. We have increased our network expansion and we now cover Luton and Kent Area. Why not try our service today.


3 Responses so far.

  1. Irene says:

    Need a quote for an estate car to be shipped to Lagos nigeria

  2. Irene says:

    I need price quote t
    For shipping a estate size car to Lagos Nigeria.