Note: It is important that you initially enquire with your respective freight forwarder on what items are prohibited/restricted on their carriers (both air & sea) to each country destination. There may also be additional documentation, duties and specific licenses required for certain goods. For items, less than 10kg it may be best to use a reliable parcel delivery service rather than a freight forwarder.
Located in West Africa, Nigeria is currently the largest economy in Africa. Often known as the “Giant of Africa”, it is the most populous country on the continent and seventh most populous in the world. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank and there are plenty of opportunities in the country to capitalise on. Electrical equipment’s and machineries sector in particular which occupy three of ten top UK exports to Nigeria.
How long does it take for goods to arrive?
For most countries in Africa, transportation by sea freight usually takes between 3-6 weeks depending on the type of service provided (e.g. door-to-door or door-to-port) and the distance between the origin and destination of goods. For example, London to Lagos shipments will arrive quicker than a Derby to Abuja as Ports are situated in both locations (Thames Estuary and Apapa).
Air freight takes between 2-10 days, like explained above with sea, this hinges type of service (door-to-door, door-to-airport etc) and speed of delivery (economy or express).
How much would it cost to send goods?
This largely depends firstly on the type of transport mode chosen for shipment. As Air freight is much faster than sea. This is reflected with a higher price. Type of service and destination also play a significant factor in the price charged. A door to port service will have a lower collection rate than a door to door however you will have to get an agent in Nigeria to arrange custom clearance and delivery to your final destination. Destinations closer to either Air or sea ports will attract lower charge per kg, as it takes less mileage to get goods to final point.
What can you send?
Many of the restrictions on what you allowed to send to Nigeria, are in place to protect the various industries, in particular the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
There is a full list of restrictions and prohibited items over on the Nigeria Customs Service website.
What documents do I need?
Firstly, parcels should be labelled (ideally each within the consignment) clearly. Addressing parcels to Nigeria is relatively straightforward. Documents required for shipments usually include:
- A customs invoice/ packing list form
- Air Waybill (Air Freight)
You can find further information on exporting and doing business in Nigeria on the UK Department of International Trade: Nigeria Guide