Requirements needed for Nigerian businesses to export under AFCTA

The Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) on Saturday said exporters or agents aspiring to move products to countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) must obtain permits, licences, certificates and other relevant documentation from appropriate government agencies.

NOTN’s Acting Director-General Victor Liman explained in a statement that apart from getting regulatory approvals from such bodies, comprising the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service and others, exporters and agents must confirm that their exports fall within the permitted range of goods permitted by the AfCTA.

Recall, Nigeria joined 53 other countries in Africa on January 1 to set in motion the world’s biggest trade bloc, in terms of participating nations, that will speed up easy and efficient intra-continental trade, marked by few restrictions and less complex checks of goods across national borders and ports of entry.

There were concerns by Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector as Nigeria was one of the last African countries to sign the AfCTA with President Muhammadu Buhari raising concerns that goods produced outside Africa could be dumped in Nigeria through other (West) African countries who allow largely unrestricted imports.

President Buhari only signed it after a wider nationwide consultation with the Organised Private Sector and a committee he set up advised him to commit to the pact.
The AfCTA plans to establish a single market, boost competitiveness among African countries, deepen economic integration and, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, lift intra-African trade by as much as 52 per cent by 2022.

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The National Trade office also stated that exporters and agents needed to create a bill of entry, attach the permits from government agencies and make a reservation with shipping or airline firms.

“The Nigerian Customs Service is the issuer of the certificate, however, NACCIMA must vet the application,” the trade negotiator said.
It further stated that documents such as a bill of landing, certificate of analysis, certificate of origin, packing list, certificate of origin and certificate of analysis are required for shipment to be executed.

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