PRE-SHIPMENT INSPECTION OF IMPORTS ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Pre-shipment inspection of imports

SECTION

1.   All imported goods liable to mandatory pre-shipment inspection.

  1. Issuance of Clean Report of Findings and Import Duty Report.
  2. Fees and duties payable by importers.

PART II

Administration

  1. Appointment of inspecting agents.
  2. General administration.
  3. Proceedings of the Technical Committee.

M iscellaneous and supplementary

  1. Penalties for unlawful importation.
  2. Proof of certain documents.
  3. Prosecution and trial of offences.
  4. Power of the Central Bank to compound proceedings.
  5. Regulations.
  6. Annual reports.
  7. Mandatory inscription of Hologram of Import Duty Report number of goods.
  8. Repeals and savings provisions.
  9. Interpretation.
  10. Short title.

SCHEDULE

Particulars to be supplied to the Central Bank by all importers

 

An Act to provide for pre-shipment inspection of imports and for matters connected
therewith.

[1996 No. 11.]

[ 19th April, 1996]

[ Commencement.]

 

PART I

Pre-shipment inspection of imports

  1. All imported goods liable to mandatory pre-shipment inspection

(1) As from the commencement of this Act, no goods to which this Act applies–

(a)       whether containerised or not and irrespective of value and personal effects
(excluding such personal effects which are accompanied and subject to 100 per
cent inspection at destination); and

(b)       whether re-exported into Nigeria from any neighbouring country,

shall be imported into Nigeria unless accompanied by a Clean Report of Findings and an
Import Duty Report issued in respect of such goods to the overseas sellers of the goods
by the inspecting agent referred to in section 4 of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, any person intending to import
any goods to which this Act applies shall, before shipment of such goods to Nigeria, fur-
nish the Central Bank with the particulars specified in the Schedule to this Act together
with such additional information as the Central Bank may specify from time to time and,
for this purpose, the Central Bank may issue such forms as it thinks appropriate for the
use of importers, except for personal effects which shall however be imported under zero
duty as certified by the inspecting agent.

[Schedule.]

(3) The importer of the goods shall instruct the overseas seller of such goods to give
the inspecting authority full access thereto in order to facilitate the carrying out of the
functions imposed on the inspecting agent by or pursuant to this Act and in particular, the
following stipulations shall be contained in such instructions, that is–

(a)              that the seller shall give between seven to ten days’ notice to the inspecting
agent prior to the proposed date of the pre-shipment inspection;

(b)               with respect to the carrying out of the pre-shipment inspection, that the seller
shall provide the inspecting agent with copies of the required Form “M”, pro
forma 
invoice, indent, purchase order, price list, letter of credit, contract
agreement and any other document relevant to the transaction which the in-
specting agent may consider necessary for the proper carrying out of the in-
spection;

(c)               that the seller shall provide all necessary facilities to the inspecting agent to
enable it to carry out a quality and quantity inspection and price comparison
and to conduct all such tests, analysis and other processes as may be required
in the circumstances;

(d)              that the seller shall make all necessary arrangements for the handling, presen-
tation (including unpacking and re-packing), sampling, shop-testing and any
other thing required in connection with the inspection of the goods;

(e)               that the seller shall submit to the inspecting agent a copy of the final invoice
covering the goods;

(f)               that the seller shall comply with such other conditions as may be prescribed.

(4) The goods which shall be liable to inspection outside Nigeria by the inspecting
agent before shipment of such goods to Nigeria and the type of inspection to which any
such goods or categories thereof shall be subject are as specified in the following provi-
sions of this section and the expression, “pre-shipment inspection” wherever used in
this Act, shall be construed accordingly.

(5) Goods liable to pre-shipment inspection with respect to quality and quantity and
price comparison thereof are all goods other than goods of the following descriptions,
that is-

(a)              explosives and pyrotechnic products, arms and ammunition, weapons and im-
plements of war;

(b)               supplies to diplomatic consular missions and international organisations for
their own needs; and

(c)              such other goods as may be prescribed by the Federal Government of Nigeria
from time to time.

(6) The expenses incurred by the inspecting agent pursuant to paragraph (d) of sub-
section (3) of this section shall be borne by the overseas seller of the goods concerned.

  1. Issuance of Clean Report of Findings and Import Duty Report

(1) Where, after inspecting the goods, the inspecting agent is satisfied that all re-
quirements as to quality and quantity and price of the goods have been complied with, the
inspecting agent shall issue the overseas seller of such goods documents to be known as a
“Clean Report of Findings” and “Import Duty Report” and where the inspecting agent is
not so satisfied, it shall issue a document to be known as “Non-negotiable Report of
Findings” in respect of the goods.

(2) Where the seller, subsequent to the issuance of a Non-negotiable Report of Find-
ings, makes the necessary adjustments, the inspecting agent may issue a Clean Report of
Findings and Import Duty Report in respect of the goods concerned.

(3) Every Clean Report of Findings and Import Duty Report issued under this Act
shall be attached by the seller to all the relevant shipping documents.

3. Fees and duties payable by importers

(1) All importers shall pay into a special account designated for that purpose in the
Central Bank, fees calculated as I per cent ad valorem of the FOB value of all imports
assessed by the inspecting agent or such per centum of the FOB value of goods inspected
as may be prescribed by the Federal Government of Nigeria from time to time, based on
the exchange rate prevailing at the previous week of inspection as determined by the
Central Bank.

(2) All duties assessed as payable by the importers in respect of goods inspected by
the inspecting agent shall be payable by the importers in accordance with procedures
contained in the applicable guidelines as may be issued by the Federal Government of
Nigeria as required and shall be based on the average autonomous rate of exchange of the
previous week as determined by the Central Bank.

PART II

Administration

  1. Appointment of inspecting agents

(1) The President shall appoint such number of bodies corporate as inspecting agents
to carry out any pre-shipment inspection required by or pursuant to this Act.

(2) In the exercise of the power to appoint an inspecting agent pursuant to subsec-
tion (1) of this section, the President may appoint an inspecting agent to cover a specific
country or countries or group of countries within a specified geographical location.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be construed as preventing
pre-shiprnent inspection pursuant to this Act of any goods (whether or not goods of a
description mentioned in this Act) by any department or agency of the government of the
Federation or of a State or any statutory body (corporate or unincorporate) established by
any such government or any accredited representative of any such government or by any
importer or his authorised agent.

5. General administration

(1) The Central Bank shall be charged generally with the responsibility of the ad-
ministration of the provisions of this Act.

(2) For the purposes of assisting the Central Bank in the discharge of its functions
under this Act, there shall be established by the Minister a Technical Committee com-
prising a representative of the Central Bank as chairman thereof and a representative of
each of the following, that is–

(a)       the Federal Ministry of Finance;

(b)       the Federal Ministry of Industry;

(c)        the Federal Ministry of Commerce; and

(d)       the Board of Customs and Excise.

  1. Proceedings of the Technical Committee

(1) The Technical Committee shall meet not less than four times in each year and on
such other occasions as it may consider necessary.

(2) At any meeting of the Technical Committee, the chairman shall preside.

(3) The quorum for meetings of the Technical Committee shall be the chairman and
two other members.

(4) The Technical Committee shall have power to regulate its proceedings and may
make standing orders for that purpose and, subject to such standing orders, may function
notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership or the absence of any member.

(5) Where the Technical Committee desires to obtain the advice of any person on a
particular matter, it may co-opt him as a member for such period as it thinks fit; but a
person who is a member by virtue of this subsection shall not be entitled to vote at any
meeting of the Technical Committee and shall not count towards a quorum.

(6) There shall be a secretary to the Technical Committee who shall be an official of

the Central Bank designated as such and the secretariat of the Committee shall be located
in the Central Bank.

Miscellaneous and supplementary

  1. Penalties for unlawful importation

(1) Any person who, at any time after the commencement of this Act, knowingly im-
ports any goods liable under this Act to pre-shiprnent inspection otherwise than in com-
pliance with the provisions of this Act, is guilty of an offence under this Act.

(2) Imports not accompanied with the relevant Import Duty Report are henceforth li-
able to be confiscated upon arrival in Nigerian territorial waters and the shippers respon-
sible for transporting the goods into Nigeria shall upon conviction in a court of competent
jurisdiction be liable to payment of fines not exceeding the value of the goods im-
pounded.

(3) Any person guilty of an offence under this Act shall be liable upon conviction–

(a)      in the case of an individual, to a fine of N50,000 or the value of the goods,
whichever is higher, or to imprisonment for a term not more than twelve
months or to both such fine and imprisonment; and

(b)      in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of N 100,000 or twice the value of
goods, whichever is higher.

(4) In addition to the penalties prescribed in subsection (3) of this section, the goods
in respect of which the offence was committed shall be forfeited to the Federal Govern-
ment of Nigeria.

(S) Where an offence under this section is proved to have been committed with the
consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director,
manager, secretary or other similar officer, servant or agent of the body corporate (or any
person purporting to act in such capacity), he as well as the body corporate shall be
deemed to be guilty of the offence and may be proceeded against and punished in the
same manner as an individual under paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of this section.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, “value” means the amount
stated on the face of the document or documents relating to the transaction in question
and, where this is not expressed in Nigerian currency, its equivalent in Nigerian currency:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as precluding proof of
value by any other method or means permitted by any other enactment or law (including
rules of law).

(7) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, any person charged with an
offence under this section, including–

(a)       the importer of goods in respect of which the offence has been committed; or

(b)      any consignee or endorsee for valuable consideration of any bill of lading or
any other appropriate document representing goods to have been shipped to
Nigeria; or

  (c)        any other person who in the normal course of his duties handles imported goods,

may exonerate himself by showing that the goods in question were shipped without any
default on his part or by the fraud or negligence of the overseas seller or of any other per-
son.

8. Proof of certain documents

(1) Without prejudice to any other mode of proof, if in any proceedings taken before
a court under this Act any book or document in the official custody of the Central Bank
or of any public officer is required to be used as evidence as to the transactions to which
it relates, copies thereof or extracts therefrom certified by the Central Bank or the proper
officer shall be admissible for that purpose, without production of the original.

(2) In any proceedings under this Act, a document issued pursuant to or in connection
to its provisions and copies of official documents purporting to be certified under the
hand, seal or stamp of the principal officers of the inspecting agent in any foreign country
or of any of their principal representatives of Nigeria abroad shall be sufficient evidence
of the matters stated therein, unless the contrary is proved.

9. Prosecution and trial of offences

(1) The prosecution of offences under this Act shall be at the instance of the Attor-
ney-General of the Federation or by such other officer as the Attorney-General may
authorise so to do:

Provided that the question whether any authority has been given in pursuance of
this subsection or what the authority was shall not be enquired into by any person except
at the instance of the Attorney-General.

(2) Every proceeding under this Act shall, subject to the applicable procedure, be
commenced in the Federal High Court and references in this Act to “court” shall be con-
strued accordingly.

10. Power of the Central Bank to compound proceedings

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Central Bank may-

(a)               without prejudice to the provisions of section 174 of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (which relate to the power of the Attorney-
General of the Federation to institute, continue or discontinue criminal pro-
ceedings against any person in any court of law), stay or compound any pro-
ceedings for an offence or for the forfeiture of any goods under the provisions
of this Act; or

[Cap. C23.]

(b)               subject to the approval of the Minister, restore any goods forfeited pursuant to
the provisions of this Act.

(2) The powers conferred on the Central Bank under this section shall be exercised so
as not to defeat the objects of this Act.

11. Regulations

The Minister may make such regulations as may be required, from time to time, for
carrying into effect the objects of this Act.

12. Annual reports

(1) The Technical Committee shall, not later than fifteen months after the coming
into operation of this Act and thereafter at intervals of twelve months each, prepare and
submit, to the Minister, a report on the operation of the scheme during the immediately
preceding year.

(2) The Minister shall cause each report submitted to him under this section to be laid
before the President.

13. Mandatory inscription of Hologram of Import Duty Report number of goods 
All goods inspected, whether containerised or not and for which Import Duty Reports
are required, shall have pasted thereon the Hologram Mark issued by the pre-shiprnent
inspection agents to conform with the Import Duty Report numbering of such goods.

14. Repeals and savings provisions

(1) The Pre-shipment Inspection oflmports Act is hereby consequentially repealed.
[Cap. 363. L.F.N. 1990.]

(2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the continuation of an inspec-
tion by an inspection agent appointed under the enactment repealed by subsection (1) of
this section, or begun before the commencement of this Act so however that such inspec-
tion shall be subject to payment of fees and duties in accordance with the provisions of
section 3 of this Act.

(3) Funds, accounts and records constituted under this Act shall be deemed to be in
continuation of the corresponding funds, accounts and records constituted under the en-
actment repealed by this Act.

(4) Where any offence, being an offence for the continuance of which a penalty was
provided, has been committed under the enactment repealed by this Act, proceedings may
be taken under this Act in respect of the continuance of the offence after the commence-
ment of this Act, in the same manner as if the offence had been committed under the cor-
responding provisions of this Act.

(5) The Minister, if he deems fit, may, within twelve months after the commence-
ment of this Act, by order published in the Gazette, make additional transitional or sav-
ings provisions for the beuer carrying out of the objectives of this section.

15. Interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires–

“Central Bank” means the Central Bank of Nigeria established under the Central
Bank of Nigeria Act;

“inspecting agent” has the meaning assigned thereto by section 4 of this Act;

“Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for matters relating to
finance;

“overseas seller” or “seller” includes any supplier of goods abroad or exporter;

“prescribed” means prescribed by the Minister by order published in the Federal
Gazette;

“pre-shipment inspection” means inspection of goods in foreign countries prior to
shipment thereof to Nigeria as provided in this Act;

“shipment” means transfer of goods by sea, air, road, rail or any other means what-
soever and “shipper” shall be construed accordingly;

“Technical Committee” means the Technical Committee established by section 6 of
this Act.

(2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as relieving any overseas seller of his con-
tractual obligations to the importer of any goods liable to pre-shiprnent inspection or of
any other goods.

16. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Pre-Shipment Inspection of Imports Act.

SCHEDULE
[Section 1 (2).]

Particulars to be supplied to the Central Bank by all importers

  1. Name and address of applicant …………………………………………………………………………………….. .
  2. Name and address of beneficiary ………………………………………………………………………………….. .
              (b) Expiry date……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
             (c) Bills for collection…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
             (d) Other………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
3.     Method of payment:

(a) 
Revocable/irrevocable letter of credit ………………………………………………………………………….

4. The Free on Board (f.o.b) value of the goods and the following-

(a) Freight charges …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… .

(b) Ancillary charges such as commissions and interest charges …………………………………….. .

(c) Name and amount of foreign currency …………………………………………………………………….. .

(d) Total amount of all expenses involved ……………………………………………………………………… .

5. Statement as to serial number of relative forms and amounts where part-payment has

been made for the goods…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

6. Description of and quality of the goods-

(a) S.I.T.c. code ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. .

(b) Means of shipment (sea/air/road/rail/parcel post, etc.) …………………………………………. .
(c)  Ultimate destination of goods ………………………………………………………………………………….. .
(d)  Import licence no. (where applicable) …………………………………………………………………….. 
(e)  Country of origin ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… .
(f) Country of supply ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… .

(g)  Date of shipment ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… .
 (h)  Validity ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ……………
(i)  Registration dates of orders (where applicable) ………………………………..
7. Declaration as to the accuracy of  statements made under the foregoing paragraphs.
                           SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

                           No Subsidiary Legislation

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