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Tidbits on obtaining End User certificate (EUC) in Nigeria: What you must know

Tidbits on obtaining End User certificate (EUC) in Nigeria: What you must know

WTS Blackwoodstone Insights

INTRODUCTION

EUC is an acronym for End-User Certificate.

The EUC is a certificate exclusively issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser(NSA). It is used in international transfers, including sales of chemicals, weapons, and ammunition to certify that the buyer is the final recipient of the materials, and is not planning on transferring the materials to another party without the prior written consent of the issuing authority. This implies that the license is mainly for imported items and the validity period is one year after which same is renewable. Noteworthy is that the Nigerian Customs Service often request for EUC if the products or goods being imported are shortlisted for obtaining EUC by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

EUCs are required by the Federal Government to restrict the flow of ‘controlled items’ to undesired destinations, such as embargoed states or rebel groups, governments with bad human rights records or states which are considered a threat by the original supplier of the items. It is designated as controlled items because of its tendency to be abused especially as it relates to security standards.

WHAT ARE CONTROLLED ITEMS?

Controlled items are components, chemicals or materials placed under the direct control of an authorized agency because of its classified or harmful nature. Any importation involving any of the controlled items must be approved by the office of the NSA before they are commenced.

CLASSIFICATION OF CONTROLLED ITEM

  • Arms and ammunition of all kinds (lethal and non-lethal).
  • Parts and accessories for all military armaments and hardware such as guns, armoured tanks, ships and aircraft.
  • Uniforms, web equipment and accoutrement for security forces
  • Explosives, fireworks and pyrotechnics for celebrations, military purposes and construction works.
  • All forms of chemicals, fertilizers and materials used for explosives.
  • All forms of bullet proof materials including vest, ballistics materials, vehicles and bullion vans as well as Hand and Leg Cuff, Police Baton, Riot Crowd Control Devices, Pepper Sprayer, Explosive Detectors, Metal Detectors,
  • Security Doors, Narcotic Detectors, Bar Light, Mail and Baggage Scanners, Stunner and Electric Baton etc.
  • Other items as could be specifically determined e.g. cash printing machines.
  • Items which the exporting country require the EUC irrespective of the items listed above.

WHO IS REQUIRED TO APPLY?

Manufacturers, Importers, Exporters, and Marketers of controlled items are required to apply for and obtain an End-User Certificate from the NSA. The EUC application should be done prior to the importation of the controlled item in order to avoid detention and seizure of goods at the port of clearing by the Nigerian Customs service.

WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR EUC?

Collation of documents when applying for an EUC Certificate will relatively be dependent on the controlled item that is applied for. It is noteworthy however, that there are general documentary requirements that is expected for any controlled item in EUC applications. Amongst which are;

  • Certificate of Incorporation (corporation)
  • Articles/Memorandum of Association (corporation)
  • Company’s Director’s Profile
  • Current-Year Tax Clearance Certificate

As earlier noted, there are different list of controlled items that further to the above documents specifically requires more documents which solely apply to them. Some of these lists of controlled items and their specific documents includes but not limited to the following;

  1. Military Hardware; requires these specific documents – Letter of Contract Award, Letter of Acceptance, Proforma Invoice, the detailed specification of goods, Bill of Laden, Packing List, Vendor Identification details, VAT Certificate, Form M from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
  2. Cash Equipment; requires these specific documents – Approval letter from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Letter of Introduction from Acquirer, Letter of Contract Award, Financial sector Operator License, Detailed Specification of Goods, Packing List, Vendor Identification details, VAT Certificate
  3. Chemicals; requires these specific documents – NAFDAC permit, Qualified Technical Officer Details (Valid Identification & License), Letter of Award (if procuring for an organization), Proforma Invoice, Detailed Specification of Goods, Storage & Disposal Details, Bill of Laden, Packing List.
  4. Uniforms & Accoutrements; requires these specific documents – Detailed Specification of goods, Vendor Identification details, VAT Certificate, Covering Letter from End-User Agency.
  5. Treated Vehicles; requires these specific documents – The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Permit (Has Expiry Date), Technical Officer Details (Valid Identification & License), Letter of Award, Proforma Invoice, Detailed Specification of Goods, Bill of Laden, Packing List.
  6. Explosive and Explosive devices; requires these specific documents – FIRS Certificate, Proforma Invoice, Form M from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bill of Laden or Airway Bill, Packing List, Certificate of Analysis, Permit to Import Explosives, License to Sell Explosives, Last 1 Year EUCs, Magazine Licenses, Transporter & Vehicle Particulars, Distribution Network of Previous Importation – beneficiaries & stock balances, Approved Responsible Officer (ARO) Identification & Licenses.
  7. Fireworks; requires these specific documents – The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Permit (Has Expiry Date), Technical Officer Details (Valid Identification & License), Letter of Award, Proforma Invoice, Detailed Specification of Goods, Bill of Laden, Packing List.
  8. Arms/Ammunition; requires these specific documents – The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Permit, Proforma Invoice, Detailed Specification of Goods, Bill of Laden (Not mandatory), Packing List.
  9. Telecommunication equipment; requires these specific documents – Type Approval Certificate or Grant from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Letter of Contract Award, Letter of Acceptance, Proforma Invoice, the detailed specification of goods, Bill of Laden, Packing List, Vendor Identification details, VAT Certificate, Form M from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
  10. Broadcast Equipment; requires these specific documents – Licence from National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Letter of Contract Award, Letter of Acceptance, Proforma Invoice, The detailed specification of goods, Bill of Laden (not mandatory), Packing List (not mandatory), Vendor Identification details, VAT Certificate, Form M from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Others are Private Security Gadget; Fertilizers; Remotely Piloted Aircraft; Surveillance and Counter Surveillance Equipment; Lawful Intercept Equipment; etc with all their supporting documents.

We further note that whereas these documentations have been itemised above, based on preference, changes as to form, modalities, indispensability nature for each or otherwise and timeline for submission of each as well as the appropriate authorities or procedures to obtain any of them differs and thus requires expertise from qualified consultants. This is because rejection to EUC applications can reduce chances of eventual approvals.

HOW TO APPLY?

∙ In other to be eligible, every prospective applicant must be duly registered with the End User Certificate Issuance and Management System (ECIMS).
∙ Fill in the description of goods;
∙ State the purpose of usage of the controlled Item in the application
∙ Attach all valid documentation; and in the event of expired documents, the Applicant must attach a valid covering letter where applicable.
∙ The hard copies of all attached documents must be provided for sighting before the collection of certificates.

CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATIONS

The necessity of proper import documentation prior to shipping is that it helps you meet and even surpass the clearance and delivery timeline, it saves costs resulting from delay, detention and demurrage accrual on shipment.

There have been several cases of falsification and forgery of the EUC, it is therefore recommended to engage the services of a consultant, who is not only vast and knowledgeable in EUC applications but will equally ensure a flawless application.

Name of Author: Chidiebere Mbah

Biography: Chidiebere Mbah is an Associate in the Corporate Commercial and Tax Practice Team at WTS Blackwoodstone. He is skilled at advising corporations across different sectors on a wide range of issues such as Regulatory Compliance, Real Estate Services, and Global Mobility Services.
Chidiebere has authored several articles and publications on Taxation, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Real Estate Services.

Name of Author: Oluwatobiloba Adekoya

Biography: Tobiloba is an Associate in the WTS Blackwoodstone Corporate Commercial and Tax Practice Team. He has advised clients operating across a wide range of sectors including finance, technology, energy and manufacturing, logistics, telecommunication, oil and gas sectors amongst others. He is an active member of the Nigerian Bar Association.