Form M questions are many. Fresh importers are often meet with surprises when trying to pay for goods abroad. The Form M questions can be frustrating. Many have no idea about the Form M whatsoever. To add to the pain, many relationship managers with banks are unable to answer Form M questions. Good number of bank staff are ignorant of what Form M is.
The purpose of this article is to answer frequently asked questions on the Form M. We have worked with Form M documents for as long as the Form M scheme has existed. Thus, our company have the best knowledge on Form M and all importation documents and procedures in Nigeria. We are reachable via call and WhatsApp chats on +2349075526276. More so, our contact us page gives other options of reaching us.
FORM M QUESTIONS; BEST UPDATED ANSWERS
Recommended: FORM M NIGERIA: HOW TO PROCESS AND OBTAIN IT
WHAT IS FORM M?
Form M is the application to Import. It is an application made to the federal government of Nigeria, via the central bank for approval to import tangible goods. Thus, it is a document, a form, which shall be applicable for by intending importers. Therefore, it is right to say Form M is the first officially recognized declaration of Import to the government of Nigeria.
WHY DO I NEED A FORM M?
You need a Form M for following reasons:
- Form M is a statutory requirement for importing goods into Nigeria
- Without a Form M document, it is difficult, if not impossible to pay for goods purchased abroad in foreign currency
- Shipping companies and airlines at the origin countries, to declare and manifest goods to Nigeria Customs, need form M numbers.
- Form M is a required document to clear virtually all goods with the Nigeria Customs. However, some goods such as used cars are still be cleared without Form M document. Additionally, it is possible to clear airfreights without Form M.
WHERE CAN IMPORTERS OBTAIN THE FORM M?
Importers can process Form M document directly from anywhere around the world online. Hence, some refer Form M as e-Form M. The portal for filling Form M is the Nigeria single window for trade. They can also choose to let the bank take the burden of processing Form M for them. Just any commercial bank in Nigeria is good to process Form M. Nevertheless, it is best that Importers allow experienced Customs Brokers or Clearing Agents process Form M document. The clearance Agent knows a lot about goods classification, tariff and regulatory permits in Nigeria. Vagmon e-Grup & Logistics limited is the best Agency that process Form M documents seamlessly. You can reach Vagmon via contact us page.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO OBTAIN FORM M?
The question of what document is a function of what you want to import. Most goods and items require SON importation permit or SON product certification. SON is an acronym for Standards Organization of Nigeria. Some goods like foods, drugs, paints, cosmetics, etc. require NFADAC permit to import. Power generation sets need approval to import from NERC. Importers of seeds for planting must have approval from the federal ministry of Agriculture. Companies and individuals importing used goods must obtain approval from NESREA. Yet, some goods require two permits from two ministries for importation.
To process and obtain Form M in Nigeria require the following:
- Regulatory Agency or Ministry approval or permit for the goods. Such agencies include SON, NESREA, NAFDAC, NAQS, NERC, etc. Most goods require SON product certificates/SONCAP
- Tax Identification Number – TIN for the entity (individual or company)
- Marine or cargo insurance certificate
- Proforma invoice for the goods of import.
- An account with a commercial bank in Nigeria.
- A login account with the single window trade portal.
Read also: SONCAP QUESTIONS; ANSWERS THAT WORK
WHO ISSUES FORM M?
Form M is issuable by the central bank of Nigeria. Below is the Form M circle:
- Applicant, the bank or the hired Consultant applies for Form M online, choses a commercial bank as dealer bank
- An automated email goes to the bank that a client has chosen them as authorized dealer for Form M
- The bank validates or queries Form M on review
- An automated email goes to Nigeria Customs Services, who reviews and registers Form M on behalf of the CBN
- The applicant receives automated email that Form M is registered.
CAN I APPLY FOR FORM M MANUALLY?
No, Form M application is electronic since year 2012.
HOW CAN I GET THE DOCUMENTS AND PERMITS FOR FORM M?
The Seller will give you proforma invoice free. Vagmon e-Grup is a clearing and forwarding company that process all other documents. Contact us today.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REGISTER FORM M?
Statutorily, Form M document issuance is in 24 to 48 working hours after application. In reality though, some Form M could take up to one month. Often, the delays come from banks, and sometimes from poor entry of information and from inaccurate information. Thus, it is advisable to allow an experienced consultant do things for you. At Vagmon, we work timeously and smartly.
WHAT IS FORM M NUMBER AND WHERE CAN I FIND IT?
Form M numbers are usually in the form of MF20220151091/BA21420220019115 or CB21420220019115. BA or CB depending on if goods is exempt from destination inspection or not. Form M numbers are what the shipping line need to manifest or do entry of goods detail at the origin port.
WHAT IS THE VALIDITY OF AN E-FORM M AFTER ISSUANCE?
The initial validity of an approved e-Form M is 12 months, and some for 24 months. Nevertheless, Form M is renewable for another 12 month by the Authorized Dealer Bank.
CAN I DO WITHOUT FORM M ON MY IMPORTATION TO NIGERIA?
The answer to this question is not as straight, and depends on answers to a couple of questions. Firstly, we will ask you the following questions:
- Firstly, how do you intend to pay for your goods?
- Secondly, what is your shipment mode – sea or air?
- Thirdly, is your goods a container load or less than a container load?
- Equally, which seaport in Nigeria are you sending the goods?
Consequently, if you must pay for goods from Nigeria to overseas countries, you must require a Form M. Shipments via air mode can be cleared on direct assessment without Form M document. Similarly, less than container loads can go on direct assessment by Customs in some seaports. Note that not all seaports in Nigeria accept direct assessment of less than container loads.
Form M questions are many and can be frustrating, if not directed to the right channel. To process Form M, you require the following:
- A proforma invoice from the supplier
- Permit to import the commodity from concerned government agency, majorly SON Product Certificate.
- Cargo insurance certificate
- Tax Identification Number
- Lastly, Bank account with a bank of choice.
Furthermore, we process Form M and all import documents seamlessly. Feel free to reach out to us via our phone line (+2349075526276) or email. Our physical office is open for walk-in clients. In summary, below is what we do in brief.
WHAT WE DO IN BRIEF.
- Pre import documentation and permits like SON import permit, SON Product certificate and SONCAP, NAFDAC import permit, NESREA permit, Form M, etc..
- Pickup and shipping from worldwide
- Export Documentation and clearance from worldwide
- Import clearance
- Local delivery to final destination
- Goods forwarding from Nigeria to worldwide.