Facts about Nigerian Customs Service & clearing vehicles procedure


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Clearing goods from the seaports or inland borders is seen as a complicated process. Here are 12 points released by customs to make it easier to understand.

Many Nigerians associate the NCS or Nigerian Customs Service with supervision over the country’s borders and sea ports. This is a wrong notion however as the NCS’s purview greatly exceed this. In this article, Naijauto will introduce you the facts about clearing vehicles by Nigeria Customs Service.

Duties of Nigeria Customs Service

It is the duty of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) to engage in activities such as Anti-smuggling, generating statistics for planning and budgetary purposes, monitoring foreign exchange utilization, licensing, and registration of customs agents. Its duties also include efficient collection and accounting of revenue (Import/Excise duties and other taxes/levies) and accounting for same.

The Nigeria Custom Service also engages in research, planning and enforcement of government trade and fiscal policies, manifest processing, security and other functions such as auctioning impounded vehicles on behalf of government.


The Nigeria Customs Servics has more duties besides curbing activities of smugglers

Other agencies the NCS works with

The Nigeria Custom Service also work closely, with other government agencies in all approved ports and border stations, which include:

  • National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
  • Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON),
  • Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  • Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
  • Nigerian Police,

These together with NCS accomplish the collective aim of ensuring the nation’s development as far as it concerns the movement of goods into and out of the nation’s borders.

Goods clearing from NCS

When it comes to clearing of goods, the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) always tries its best to render the best services to Nigerian citizens. This is why it is important for everyone to know the procedures of goods clearing from the ports or other borders.

Citizens and other nationals doing business in Nigeria need to also know how they can prevent themselves from being conned by fraudsters and fake agents who unfortunately clog the nation’s good clearing system.

When it comes to clearing, a lot comes into play between the time the goods arrive and when it is cleared at the seaports, or the airport as the case maybe. The Nigeria Custom Service are working hard in satisfying her citizens, protecting the Nigeria society, generating accurate and precise statistical data by developing professional best practices and obligations.

>>> Naijauto provides you with best tips & facts! How to change car ownership in Nigeria (Sample of Form MVA 5 included)


You need to adhere strictly to procedure or your vehicle imports and goods can be seized

12 facts you must know about clearing goods

Therefore, the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) has listed in her official website, the “12 important facts,” the public must know, before anyone can clear his or her goods. These 12 facts are actually steps that ensure a stress free and orderly clearing of goods.

These facts include:

  1. For the nation’s development and building; it is the duty of the citizen to pay the actual custom fees for services as at when due.
  2. Submit approved/certified checks to the custom agent in charge of your goods.
  3. Make sure you are given proof of payment (receipt) after paying for services rendered.
  4. Make sure you are not dealing with a cheat, as there are a lot of fake persons parading themselves as Nigeria Custom agents.
  5. Following the right process, one can get a personal clearing permit to clear their goods.
  6. Don’t use hoodlums as clearing agents when clearing important goods, such as vehicles.
  7. All payments for approved checks should be made to the Federal Government of Nigeria, through their recommended banks.
  8. It is the duty of Nigeria Custom officials to serve the public when it comes to clearing of goods. Therefore, do not comply with any form or demand of gratification either in cash or in kind; do well to lay complaints to their nearest offices, Customs Area controller or the Office of the Comptroller General of Customs in Abuja, if the need for this arises.
  9.  In most cases, postponement in clearing of goods attracts a fine, due to the extra time such goods spent at the custom’s warehouse. 
  10.  Make it a point of duty to clear your goods between the period of 90 days at the seaports and 30 days at the airports from the day it got to the seaports/airports.
  11. Wrong claim of ownership of goods and property usually ends in complete loss of goods and property.
  12. The use of false documents for clearance of goods is highly prohibited as defaulters will end up in jail. Therefore, one is always advised to make use of the authentic customs documents.


The NCS makes certain there is a regulation in the imports into the country

>>> If you want to buy car on NCS auctions, please note The term that causes many successful bidders to lose their car on Nigeria Customs e-auction

6. Important note

It is important to note that the Nigeria Custom Service also helps in the fighting of unlawful business exercises and exchange, illegal merchandise, such as import of fake and sub-standard products, infringement on intellectual property rights, unlawful universal exchange of imperiled species, unlawful exchange of arms and ammunitions, illegal tax evasion, movement of unlawful medications, unlawful exchange of social artifacts, importation of explicit  materials, and  importation of harmful and risky substances.

Having said all these, for you not to find yourself in an unpleasant situation, it will be in your own best interests to have these things in mind, and also put them into practice for a better clearing service.

Using accredited clearing agents also goes a long way to assure you of the safety of your imported cars or other goods in the ports, and the successful clearing out of the ports or the nation’s borders.

>>> Get only the best tips and advice from Naijauto.com

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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