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How do I start exporting business, documentation, what to export and where to

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Exporting From Nigeria

The commonly asked question by intending exporters is what products can be exported from Nigeria. Before identifying exportable products. It is important that a beginner knows that export business involves a number of procedures and documentation to be taken before lunching out on the international platform. The procedures and documentation are:


Registration with Nigerian Export Promotion Council:

Procedures for Registration are as follows:

Organizations eligible for registration as exporters are:


  1. Limited Liability Company
  2. Co-operative Societies registered by State Ministry of Commerce and FCDA and
  • Government and Non-Government Organizations duly registered by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)


Intending exporter can buy Exporters Registration Form at the cost of N500.00. On completion, applicants are expected to pay N5,000.00 (Kindly confirm updated rate) processing fee and submit the form with the following documents:


  1. Photocopy of Company’s Certificate of Incorporation;
  2. Certifies True Copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Certified True Copy of Form CO7, in case of Limited Liability Company or a copy of the Law establishing the agency in case of Government Organisation.


Please note that the schedule officer is expected to sight the original copies of the above documents.


Exportable Products:-


The products that can be exported are numerous depending on the exporters’ areas of interest, finances at his or her disposal and then the availability of the product(s). However, one needs to know that there are products prohibited from exportation. These are:


  1. Timber (Rough or Sawn)
  2. Raw hides and skin including wet blue and all unfinished leather.
  • Maize
  1. Scrap Metal
  2. Unprocessed Rubber Latex and Rubber Lumps
  3. Artifacts and Antiquities
  • Wild life Classified as endangered species and their products, e.g. Crocodiles, Elephants, Lizard, Eagle, Monkey, Zebra, Lion, to mention a few.


Exportable products could be classified into five major categories including:


Agriculture Products e.g. Charcoal, Chilies (Dried) Cocoa Beans, Coffee, Gum Arabic, Sesame Seeds, Shear nuts, Shear Butter, Shrimps, Cassava, Cashew nuts

Export Destination: Europe


Processed foods e.g. Cassava flour, Yam flour, Ground Rice, Vegetable Oil

Export Destination: Cassava (Europe) African countries.


Solid Minerals e.g. Zinc Ore, Lead Ore, Copper, Calcium, Carbonate, Marble, Tantalite, Wolframite, Iron Ore, Gem Stones.

Export Destination: Europe and Asia


Manufactured Products e.g. Alcoholic beverages, Cosmetics and Soaps, Detergents, Chemicals, Cocoa Cake, Cocoa butter, Malt drinks, Insecticides, Electrical wires, Furniture Component.

Export Destination: Cocoa Cake & Cocoa butter (Europe) African Countries.


Handicrafts e.g. Talking Drums, Calabash Carvings, Wood Carvings, Beads, Pottery, Metals Carvings, Hand – Woven textiles, Raffia products.

Export Destination: Europe and U. S.


Documents Required when Exporting


Correct documentation, therefore, is the lubricant of international trade and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Incorrect documents cause delays at ports when clearing the goods through customs, resulting in extra costs, failure to meet delivery dates and, in some cases, seizure of such goods. Unfortunately, some exporters fail to realize the importance of correct documentation and thus develop bad reputation for their export business. In order to save extra costs and possible delays the point of import, the potential exporter should ensure that he is full acquainted with all aspects of the actual procedure involved in getting the goods from factory/farm gate to the consignee. It is therefore, important to know what documentation will be needed to get the goods out of the country of production and into the foreign market with the least possible delay and expense.

Exporting requires a lot of documentation, specifically, all exporters are expected to complete form NXP (Nigerian Export Proceeds) and pay the mandatory levy. Clean Certificate of Inspection is issued by the Federal Government appointed inspection Agent (Cobalt International Services Limited) as contained under the Nigerian Export Supervisory Scheme which requires that all exporters pay 0.5% of the FOB value of their exports.


Export document vary according to nature of product and destination. Below is a categorization of export documents:


Commercial Documents

  • Profoma Invoice
  • Commercial Invoices
  • Consular Invoice
  • Certified Invoice and
  • Parking list


Quality Documents

  • Certificate of Quality and Fumigation (FPIS)
  • Phyto-sanitary Certificate (PQSO)
  • NAFDAC Certificate of Quality
  • Certificate of Quality by (SON)
  • ISO Certificate


Transport Documents

  • Bill of Lading
  • Airway bill / Road way bill
  • National Maritime Authority Form E-3.2
  • Single Goods Declaration (SGD)


Tariffs Concession Documents

  • Form EUR 1
  • GSP Certificate
  • ECOWAS TLS Certificate of Origin and Movement Certificates
  • Commonwealth Stand Still Preference Certificate of Origin



Other Documents include:

Non oil export data form

Certificate of Origin

Certificate of Manufacture


Permit to export Solid Minerals from Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.


What Constitutes Export Readiness?

Good Products

  • Market Driven Designs. Products that are consistent with the market taste
  • Can be adapted to buyers specs
  • Designs adapted to facilitate shipping
  • Presented in complete line, or families of products (important)
  • Consistent quality control
  • Solid construction
  • Made with quality materials
  • Competitive price research the market


Production Capacity

  • Able to produce in large quantities
  • Ability to grow as orders increase
  • Sufficient production staff
  • Appropriate tools for increased production



  • Working telephone, fax, mobile phone and email
  • Computer literacy
  • Printed materials

Brochures, pamphlets

  • Printed order forms, receipts, bills, etc
  • Print or digital photo catalog


Administration Systems


  • Easy to use accounting systems
  • Up to date record keeping system
  • Inventory and stock control
  • Order management calendars
  • Costing and pricing evaluation systems


Vision for Growth

  • The exporter must research markets and opportunities as well as constraints to come up with a viable vision. This should include specific steps to growth.


Export Incentives

The Federal Government through NEPC put in place the Export Expansion Grant Scheme (EEG) to boost export and ensure the competitiveness of made in Nigeria products in the international markets. Beneficiary of the scheme are paid in Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDDC).


Applicable percentage grant is determined by set guidelines. The maximum percentage is 30 while the minimum is 15%.


Visit to get international buyers and begin your export journey.

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Relevant Internet Sites on Exports.


The following internet sources provide credible trade leads:

intlTrade Network provides advertisements of exports and imports via the internet. Original trade advertisements are relayed world-wide by e-mail to subscribers.

ProTrade Forum home page is CompuServe’s special trade section for traders, importers and exporters.

Trade Match (SM) is an interactive medium and services for international traders to access potential buyers/sellers.

Trade Compass is an internet information system designed specifically for business and organizations engaged in international commerce.

The homepage of Trade Point USA, the site for UNCTAD’s (United Nations program of providing trade leads and trade backup for developing nations. Includes trade leads, market information and UN documents.

The Global Trade Point Development Centre is an initiative of the United Nations Trade Point Development Centre (UNTPDC) to provide standards, software and opportunities for trade lead dissemination particularly to small business in less developed nations.



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Article credit:  Cokodeal contributor

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By Henry A

Henry O. is a agribusiness consultant and international trade finance expert, with wide knowledge in agro commodities export.

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