TEMPORARY IMPORTATION (TI)
The Nigeria Customs Service may provide the concession to import on temporary basis. Such
concession are normally granted for oil rigs, ships, barges and other special equipment of high value(
In practice USD 100,000 has been considered as a minimum by customs), provided that such
equipment is not available for purchase/rent in Nigeria. Temporary importation is not available for
consumable items and most vehicles. For other commodities, prior clarification should be obtained
from Customs Head Office at Abuja.
The temporary importation approval from customs Headquarters Abuja must be obtained prior to
shipment. Goods imported under Temporary Importation are exempted from both the Form M and
pre-shipment inspection procedures.
The following documents are required to accompany any T.I Application:-
Proforma Invoice from the owner to the Nigeria importer, stating the cost and freight of the items to
- Lease Agreement between the owner of the equipment and the Nigeria importer, specifying
the equipment, the lease period, the lease cost and other lease conditions.
- Brochures and / or technical manuals describing the item(s) to be imported.
- Photocopy of registration certificate (vessels & rigs only)
- § Photocopy of measurement certificate (vessels & rigs only)
- Permit to operate in Nigerian waters from the Federal Ministry of Transport (can be
obtained by BALLAST AGENCIES)
- Photocopy of the complete contract(s) between the importer and the main contractor,
clearly indicating the duration of the contract and providing information about the purpose
of the equipment to be temporary imported. The contract must further show the
signatories. Where there is no direct contract between the Nigerian company holding the
main contract with the government or NNPC (OML holder), and the importer of the item, all
contracts with sub-contractors must be included to establish the link.
- Photocopy of importer’s tax clearance certificate for the past three years
- Photocopy of importer’s certificate of incorporation
- Letter from importer addressed to BALLAST AGENCIES, requesting us to
apply for temporary importation, thereby stating the reasons for temporary importation.
- Covering letter to Customs applying for T.I. approval on behalf of client Application.
- Upon receipt of the documents mentioned above, BALLAST AGENCIES issues an application
to the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Abuja.
A minimum bond amount is fixed by Customs Headquarters and is indicated on the formal
T.I. approval letter.
Following the submission of the T.I approval to the Customs Area
Comptroller at the port of entry, the cargo will be physically examined and the bond
amount will be fixed as surety.
Please, observe that this procedure will take approximately 4 weeks just for the approval from
Customs Headquarters Abuja. It is therefore advisable that preliminary documentation is given to
BALLAST AGENCIES as early as possible to have enough time for the application.
Normally the security amount or otherwise called “bond penalty” corresponds to the customs duty /
surcharge and VAT payable upon normal importation plus approximately 25%. The penalty can
however be assessed differently at the discretion of the Customs Area Comptroller. Prior to the
release of the cargo by the customs administration, security for the customs duty has to be provided
through a bond issued by one of the banks designated for the collection of Customs duties.
Insurance bond are not accepted by Customs and cash deposits are not recommended.
A Temporary Importation is approved for an initial period of one year and can be extended by
BALLAST AGENCIES at Customs Headquarters Abuja twice for six months. The maximum total period
of a temporary importation is two years and extensions beyond that period are granted by Customs
exceptionally on a case by case basis only for further period of three or six months.
Documentary requirements for extension of T.I approval: -
Photocopy of agreement (addendum) jointly signed by contractor and sub-contractor specifying that
contract is still under execution and stating the duration of the contract. Please, note that variation
of contract / service agreement is not acceptable. Also, note that the agreement/contract
(addendum) should not be in months as in past similar cases.
- Photocopy Form Sale 33
- · Photocopy of initial T.I. approval or last execution (if any)
- Photocopy of registration certificate (vessels & rigs only)
- Covering letter to Customs applying for extension of T.I
- Letter from insurance / bank confirming validity of bond, copy of bond to be attached.
After completion of the contract, cargo earlier imported on a temporary basis can be re-exported.
Your instruction to that effect should be given to BALLAST AGENCIES who will make the necessary
arrangement, either by air or sea. BALLAST AGENCIES will also the export Bill of Entry as well as
export documentation, which later on will be required for the cancellation of the temporary
Change to importation for home consumption
In case cargo imported temporary will remain in Nigeria permanently, an approval from Customs
Headquarters Abuja is required. Before selling the goods to a third party in Nigeria, approval must be
obtained and an entry for home use is to be processed with the Customs at the initial port of entry.
Duty/Surcharge and VAT applicable at the time of importation are payable at that point.
This procedure also applies to items covered under a T.I. which have been scrapped.
Cancellation of Temporary Importation Bond
To cancel a temporary importation bond, BALLAST AGENCIES has to show evidence to the Nigeria
Customs Service that the cargo has been either re-exported or customs cleared for home
consumption. If the Nigeria Customs Service is satisfied with the documentary evidence, the bond
will be cancelled with a letter from customs to the bond-issuing bank, with copy to the clearing
The importer in whose name the T.I. was granted by Customs will be held responsible for the full
regularisation or re-exportation of the equipment at all times, a T.I. is not transferable.
BALLAST AGENCIES will offer advice on whether a T.I. of an item is likely to be approved by the
Nigeria Customs Service. BALLAST AGENCIES does, however not guarantee that approval will be
granted and will undertake no responsibility whatsoever for any consequences, financial or
otherwise, resulting from a rejection of the T.I. application by Customs.
BALLAST AGENCIES obtains T.I. approvals from the Nigeria Customs Service as Agents only on behalf
and for the account of the importer. The Nigeria Customs Service tends to hold agents accountable
for proper regularization of T.I. processed and obtained by them on behalf and for account of
importers and BALLAST AGENCIES therefore holds the importer liable for any consequences,
financial or otherwise, related to non-renewal of an expired T.I., non-exportation or non-payment of
duty in case of consumption for home use.