EXPORTATION LICENCEExportation licence is a legal document issued by the state or its agency, which shows permission to export goods. The term export licence is often used interchangeably with the term export document. In this article, we shall see slight difference between both terms. However, the article is not all about the definition of terms. The article will show that export from Nigeria has a well-defined procedure. Furthermore, we will see the documentation required for successful and legal exports. So, Vagmon Integrated Services urges you to read all things patiently.

Our aim for writing this article for exportation licence is summarised below:

  • To enlighten friends and the public on appropriate export procedure in Nigeria
  • The article will show how to obtain export licence in Nigeria
  • Also, readers will know the right documentation and documents needed to conduct export trade in Nigeria, besides export licence
  • Thus, readers will be exposed to formal way of carrying out export trade in Nigeria
  • Consequently, our ardent readers will be helped to reduce risks associated with ignorance and patronage of quacks
  • Additionally, those who follow our advice would boost the value of goods exported as importers will have all product certification.
  • Finally, following our itemised steps in this article will facilitate trade.


In Nigeria context, exportation licence is otherwise called exporter’s certification. The exporter’s certification is issued by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council. Export documents refers to a whole range of certificates, licences, invoices, etc. that must come into play for export to take place. Hence, exportation licence is an export document.



Export documents are grouped into the following:

  • Exportation licence
  • Export/Import Contract
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Evidences
  • Commercial Documents
  • Export Declaration Documents
  • Transport Documents

Let us now look at each group of documents, and how to process it.


In Nigeria, exportation licence is called exporter’s certificate or certification. The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) is a government agency responsible for issuance of exporter’s certificate. Every exporter who must export goods legally from Nigeria must first of all obtain the exporter’s certificate from the NEPC. Otherwise, such export is termed illegal and exposes one to criminal charges by the Nigerian state. For details on cost, requirements and how to process exporter’s certificate from NEPC, see my article for NIGERIA EXPORT PROMOTION COUNCIL: EXPORT GOODS FROM NIGERIA


Export contract is the agreement between the exporter and the importer. The document showing such contract is what is called export contract document. Some people try to make templates of export contract, but I must tell you that no single template is the best. What is important is for the contract to cover essential detail of the trade. The contract once prepared serves as a checklist to both parties and remains binding till its terms are fulfilled.

This article does not endorse or list a particular contract format. However, you might want to ensure the below details are clearly spelt and agreed.

  • Name and contact detail of supplier company
  • The Name and contact detail of buyer company
  • Product description, detail and specification
  • Terms of supply in terms who does what at each stage, who pays what
  • Packaging
  • Delivery times and what happens if delays do occur
  • Risks and mitigation strategies
  • What documents are required by the buyer
  • Also, what is the position of the law

The list of items to include in the export contract is a function of what both parties consider relevant to the trade. Most people chose to allow lawyers prepare export contract documents. Whatever is the agreement should be documented and signed by the exporter and the importer.


Quality assurance documents are documents that make proof of quality and standards of your products or services. Does your factory have ISO certification? Do you have Goods Manufacturing Practice Certificate (GMP)? Have your food products been tested and approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)? Does your pet have international veterinary certificate? Has the Standard Organisation of Nigeria given your product any form of clean bill? If the answer to any, some or all of these questions is yes, make proof with a document.


  • Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI): the CCI indicates the quality, quantity and price competitiveness of Nigerian exports. CCI is issued by government appointed Pre-Shipment Inspection Agencies (PIAs).
  • Additionally, Certificate of Weight and Quality (CWQ): issued by independent quality assessors agreed by seller and buyer. Independent assessors in Nigeria may include: COTECNA, SGS, INTERTEK, etc. The CWQ is a certificate of conformity to the quality standards and weight as agreed by both parties.


Most often than not, before an order is placed for a product, the buyer usually request for estimates document. The estimate document is often called the proforma invoice. Proforma invoice on one hand gives the buyer idea of costs and other trade terms. The commercial invoice on the other hand gives specific trade figures and terms. Commercial invoice is only issued after trade is concluded and ready for shipping. Documents regarded as commercial documents include the following:

  • Commercial invoice or final invoice
  • Packing list

For detail on what commercial invoice looks like in Nigeria, please see my article for: COMMERCIAL INVOICE: NIGERIAN COMMERCIAL INVOICE CASE. Note however that export commercial invoice is slightly different from import commercial invoice in Nigeria. Commercial invoice for goods coming into Nigeria must have Form M number on it for example. Form M number is not needed for exports from Nigeria. What document then serves Form M function for exports? The next section will answer this question.


In one of my articles, I did define Form M as the first rough and official declaration to the Nigeria Customs, the Central Bank and other Governmental agencies of items to be imported. Similarly for exports, there is an equivalent of Form M. Form NXP or NXP Form does for the Exporter what Form M does for the Importer. The NXP Form is issued by the applicant’s Authorised Dealer Bank (AODB), and captures the export transaction value. Total Form NXP issued in a year by Nigerian banks helps in determination of economic growth of the country. Again, with Form NXPs, the Exporter can apply for exports incentives from the Nigerian Government. For example, he may qualify for export expansion grant.

Another document we consider export declaration document is the Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO). The CCVO is issued by – National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). For detail on the content of the CCVO, kindly see my article for ‘Export Declaration.’


Transport documents deals with physical movement of goods to the buyer in the mode specified in the export contract. Thus, transport Documents include the following:

  • Bill of lading (shipping document): Issued by shipping companies/agencies. The bill of lading gives detail of goods transported by sea. Bill of lading is also a receipt for transportation of goods.
  • Air Waybill: Issued by airline in the case of movement on air. The air waybill indicates the details of goods transported by air.
  • Road Transport Bill: Issued by logistics companies Relevant because – it indicates the details of goods transported by road



In summary, Exportation Licence is a narrow term and refers to Exporter’s Certification, issued by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council. Whereas, Export documents refers to whole range of documents needed for exporting commodities legally and successfully. Furthermore, not all export documents are needful in each export case. Whatever is the export documentation needed for your exportation business, we – Vagmon Integrated Services are experts in processing it. Contact us today, and focus your time and energy in other urgent company matters. Our company phone number is +2349075526276. Finally, Our email address is info@clearingandforwardingnigeria.com/ fanigray@gmail.com.

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