Alibaba express? Yes, most Nigerians buy goods online from Alibaba express. Many have made mistakes of shipping their goods from China without following approved import procedures in Nigeria. Hence, majority have had their goods seized, and some have spent more than necessary to clear goods. I am writing this article as a freebie to my brothers in Nigeria or abroad, who desire to buy from Alibaba express or any other online means and ship to Nigeria. The article will expose you to a number of must-take import steps shipping from China or any country to Nigeria.
ALIBABA EXPRESS FIRST THING TO DO BEFORE BUYING YOUR GOODS FROM CHINA TO NIGERIA
What item are you importing? First and foremost, you have to check if your item can be sent via courier. If not, is absolutely necessary that you have a Tax Identifier Number – TIN. To acquire a TIN, you must either have a company of your own or use someone else’s. Individual tax payers can also have a personal TIN. Do the following to register your company and TIN:
- Register a company in Nigeria and hence, have a Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of the company in Nigeria. Visit Corporate Affairs Commission here. The company can either be an enterprise or a limited company. Moreover, remember that enterprise always has some limitations in the business arena.
- Take the company documents to the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) with an up-to-date proof of Tax Payments. FIRS will issue you with Tax Identification Number (TIN Number)
- Activate your TIN with a valid e-mail address tagged to it on the Nigerian Single Window for trade.
- Create an account with a Nigerian bank that will serve as an Authorized Dealer Bank for your imports to Nigeria.
ALIBABA EXPRESS SHIPPING TO NIGERIA: MUST-TAKE IMPORTATION STEPS
Once registered and the TIN obtained, the company is ready to import into Nigeria. Take the following steps to have a smooth importation to Nigeria.
- With the proforma invoice from the seller, and know which regulatory documents needed from Nigerian Government Agencies. The tariff codes (HS Codes) attached to items can also help in determining the needed regulatory certification for items. At this point, its best to involve a Customs Clearing agent to guide you from the onset. Clearing agents are experts in the import and export business, hiring one at the beginning is a wise course. Vagmon Integrated Services can be reached via email or phone (firstname.lastname@example.org/ +2349075526276).
- Apply for Regulatory Certificates, e.g. the Product Certificate (PC), for items that are regulated by SON. Or NAFDAC certificate for NAFDAC regulated food item or drugs.
- Activates the PC on the online single window for trade.
- Open a Form M on the Nigerian Trade Platform (Single Window system). Form M documents are usually the Insurance Certificate, the Proforma Invoice, and the applicable regulatory Certificate. Thus, submit Form M to the Authorised Dealer Bank opened earlier.
- The ADB will reviews/validates the Form M and sends it to the Nigeria Customs Services -NCS.
- NCS either accepts the Form M, or queries it if not properly filled or missing some vital information or documents.
Read Also: FORM M NIGERIA: HOW TO PROCESS AND OBTAIN IT
ALIBABA EXPRESS SHIPPING TO NIGERIA: FINAL CLEARING STEPS
- Forwards a copy of the Form M to the exporter. Form M number is added by the exporter on what is called final documents. The final documents are: packing list, commercial invoice, bill of lading/air waybill, combined certificate of value and origin, and SONCAP Certificate (if SON is the applicable regulatory Body).
- Again, if SON is the applicable regulatory Body, the SON Agency who processed the PC will again process SONCAP. Hence, SONCAP is issued after inspection by the SON agent.
- Depending on the arrangement, the exporter engages a shipping company or a freight forwarder.
- Shipping Company submits import manifest to customs/NPA/Terminal Operator, brings in vessel, pays ship charges, pays NPA charges and Issues bill of lading.
- Apply for PAAR issuance from the ADB.
- The ADB will issue PAAR, and goods clearance begins.
- The clearing agent continues his work and finalises with the Customs and Port Terminal operators. The gent gets the Single Goods Declarations from the Customs, and sends to you the Customs duty payable to the Government.
- Terminal Operator will do Terminal Handling/Weighing, Loading of Cargo, Issue bills for handling/ rent and delivers the goods.
Read Also: COST OF CLEARING CARGO: EXAMPLE OF NIGERIA
This article for Alibaba express or any other shipment to Nigeria is a free gift to those importing items into Nigeria. In my next article, I will not talk about Alibaba express, but shipping company local handling and terminal handling charges will be the subject. In all clearance steps, Vagmon Integrated Services can serve you better. Contact us (email@example.com/ +2349075526276) for whatever the hassle.