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The Process and Cost of Clearing Cars in Nigeria

Clearing a car in Nigeria

This article contains the latest cost of clearing cars in Nigerian ports. As a country that relies heavily on imported cars, you will find this information valuable.

There are several charges to be paid while importing a car to Nigeria, ranging from Custom duty charges, port levies, and clearing agency fees.

Prior to this time, the importation of cars from neighbouring countries were common. That is because they charged a lesser fee compared to Nigerian Customs. However, since the closure of Nigeria’s border, it has been nearly impossible to use road importation.

When importing a new or used car into Nigeria, Custom Import Duty and taxes are paid to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). The import duty is calculated based on the estimated cost of the car.

In the past, it was based on the year of manufacture. That means a car manufactured in 2018 would have a higher tariff compared to a car manufactured in 2006.

We’d do well to explain how much it would cost to ship and clear a car in Nigeria. 

The cost to clear a car in Nigerian Ports

There are four major costs that you should keep in mind when you want to ship a car to Nigeria. The costs include;

  • The amount paid to the shipping company,
  • The terminal fees,
  • Custom Import duty and taxes, and
  • The clearing agent’s fee. 

The commonly used port for the importation of cars is the Tin Can Port and Apapa Port. There are minor price differences between ports, terminals, and shipping lines. In this article, we will examine the cars shipped and cleared through the RORO (Roll-on/Roll-off) and Grimaldi lines. 

The cost of clearing accidental cars in Nigeria

It is important to note that the fees charged for accidental cars are lesser compared to the normal fees. However, for a car to be classified as accidental, it would have severe frame damage and exposed airbag. This is at the discretion of the Customs’ officer. 

On a general note, only a few vehicles would qualify as accidental. Minor scratches, damaged bumper, or headlights would not count. When a vehicle is eventually classified, this would reduce its clearing cost.

How to calculate the cost of clearing a car in Nigeria

Not so long ago, the clearing cost was not so high. Then, to import a car into Nigeria, you only had to pay 22% of its cost price. Well, that is not the case any longer. You would have to pay about 47.25% of the cost of the car now. 

Let’s get to the interesting part. First, to calculate the clearing costs, you need to know the CIF Value of the car. The CIF value used by Nigerian Customs is in US Dollars, which they convert to naira using the interbank rates. The current interbank rate is around ₦380. 

For example, let’s calculate the clearing costs for a Toyota Camry manufactured in 2005.

CIF Value

The CIF Value of Toyota Camry 2005 is $2,195 (at ₦380 per 1$).  Hence, to convert the CIF Value of this vehicle to naira we’ll multiply $2,195 by 380 as expressed below.

Formula:

CIF Value in Naira = Dollar Valuation x ₦380

Application:

CIF Value in Naira = $2,195 x ₦380 = ₦834,100

Customs Duty

The Customs Duty is 35% of the CIF Value. Therefore, let’s calculate 35% of ₦834,100.

Formula:

Custom duty = CIF Value (₦) x 35%

Application:

Cutoms duty = ₦834,100 x 0.35 = ₦291,935

Customs Levy

The Customs Levy is 35% of the Customs Duty.

Custom levy = Custom duty x 35%

Therefore, the custom duty is multiplied by 0.35, which is given as:

Customs levy = ₦291,935 x 0.35 = ₦102,177.25

Import Duty

The total amount paid to the customs office is a sum of Custom Duty and Custom Levy. This is mathematically expressed as follows.

Formula:

Import duty = Custom duty + Custom levy

Application:

Import duty = ₦291,935 + ₦102,177.25 = ₦394,112.25

Another easy way to calculate the amount to be paid to the Nigerian Customs is to multiply the CIF Value (in Naira) of the car by 0.4725 or 47.25%.

Formula:

Import duty = CIF Value (₦) × 47.25%

Application:

Import duty = ₦834,100 × 0.4725 = ₦394,112.25

From the above calculations, the cost of import duty for a Toyota Camry 2005 is ₦394,112.25 irrespective of the methods used.

Clearing Agent Fee 

Depending on the clearing agent, a fee between ₦50,000 to ₦100,000 is normally charged. If you have good negotiation skills, then you’d probably pay less.

Shipping and Terminal Fee

The shipping fee is dependent on the company and type of shipping used, while the terminal fee is estimated to be between ₦50,000 to ₦100,000. 

Note: The CIF Value of your car is not a fee, but is used to calculate the clearing cost. In order to get the CIF value for any car and model, you can contact a clearing agency. That way you can calculate the clearing costs yourself. 

Increase in import duty tariff

The increase in Import Duty Tariff was implemented in 2014. The aim was to raise the cost of importing cars into the country in order to promote the use of made in Nigerian cars. It has not been effective anyway, but more money for the government.

An estimated cost of clearing cars in Nigeria (2020)

BUSES

With Electronics₦450,000
Without Electronics₦440,000

ACURA

Acura MDX 2010 ₦950,000

CHEVROLET

Chevy Cobalt 2008₦650,000

FORD

Ford Explorer 2006₦500,000
Ford Edge 2007₦550,000
Ford Edge 2008₦650,000
Ford Edge 2009₦700,000
Ford Edge 2010₦800,000
Ford Edge 2011₦900,000
Ford Edge 2012₦1,050,000

HONDA

Honda Accord 2007₦600,000

HYUNDAI

2009 Hyundai Elantra₦650,000
2011 Hyundai Elantra₦950,000

KIA

Kia Sorento 2004₦430,000

LEXUS

Lexus RX 330 2004₦470,000
Lexus RX 350 2007₦700,000
Lexus RX 350 2008₦700,000
Lexus ES 350 2009₦950,000
Lexus RX 350 2009₦980,000
Lexus ES 350 2010₦980,000
Lexus RX 350 2010₦1,000,000
Lexus GX 350 2010₦1,100,000

MAZDA

MAZDA 6 2008₦550,000

MERCEDES BENZ

Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2000-2005₦550,000
Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2006₦600,000
Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2007/2008₦750,000
Mercedes-Benz E300 2018₦4,500,000
Mercedes-Benz C280 4matic 2006₦550,000
Mercedes-Benz ML350 4matic 2007₦850,000
Mercedes-Benz GL 450 2007₦850,000
Mercedes-Benz C300 4matic 2009₦950,000
Mercedes-Benz ML350 2012₦1,550,000
Mercedes-Benz C300 2018₦5,550,000

NISSAN

Nissan Pathfinder 2001₦400,000
Nissan Primera 2003₦420,000
Nissan Pathfinder 2005₦500,000
Nissan Altima 2015₦2,500,000

RANGE ROVER

Range Rover Evoque 2019₦5,230,000

TOYOTA

Toyota Tacoma 2002₦450,000
Toyota Camry LE 2002₦450,000
Toyota Rav4 2004₦420,000
Toyota Matrix 2005₦450,000
Toyota Highlander 2005₦500,000
Toyota Corolla 2005₦450,000
Toyota Tundra 2005₦500,000
Toyota Corolla 2006₦550,000
Toyota Rav4 2006₦600,000
Toyota 4Runner 2006₦600,000
Toyota Tundra 2006₦650,000
Toyota Sienna 2006₦600,000
Toyota Corolla 2007₦600,000
Toyota Camry 2007₦600,000
Toyota Camry 2008₦650,000
Toyota Rav4 2008₦700,000
Toyota Highlander 2008₦700,000
Toyota Camry 2009₦850,000
Toyota Corolla 2010₦950,000
Toyota 4Runner 2011₦1,050,000
Toyota Camry 2011₦1,000,000
Toyota Corolla 2011₦1,000,000
Toyota Corolla 2013₦1,250,000
Toyota Venza 2013₦1,400,000
Toyota Camry 2013₦1,350,000
Toyota Camry 2015₦1,500,000
Toyota Highlander 2015₦1,650,000
Toyota Camry 2016₦1,800,000

VOLVO

Volvo XC90 2004₦500,000
Volvo XC90 2008₦650,000

TRUCK

Howo 12 Tyres Dump Truck 2014₦1,500,000

The cost breakdown of clearing some cars in Nigeria

Acura ILX 2009

Import Duty₦690,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦250,000
Total Clearing Cost₦950,000

AUDI A6 2009

Import Duty₦690,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦250,000
Total Clearing Cost₦950,000

FORD EXPLORER 2009

Import Duty₦ 930,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 70,000
Clearing Charges₦ 300,000
Total Clearing Cost₦1,300,000

HONDA ACCORD 2008

Import Duty₦590,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦200,000
Total Clearing Cost₦850,000

HYUNDAI ACCENT 2008

Import Duty₦590,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦200,000
Total Clearing Cost₦850,000

KIA FORTE 2008

Import Duty₦590,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦200,000
Total Clearing Cost₦850,000

LEXUS ES350 2009

Total Duty₦ 650,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦ 250,000
Total Clearing Cost₦960,000

MAZDA 3 2008

Import Duty₦590,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦200,000
Total Clearing Cost₦850,000

NISSAN MURANO 2009

Import Duty₦ 680,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 70,000
Clearing Charges₦ 300,000
Total Clearing Cost₦1,050,000

PONTIAC AZTEK 2008

Import Duty₦540,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦200,000
Total Clearing Cost₦800,000

TOYOTA COROLLA 2010

Import Duty₦ 650,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 60,000
Clearing Charges₦ 300,000
Total Clearing Cost₦1,010,000

VOLKSWAGEN CC

Import Duty₦550,000
Shipping and Terminal Charges₦ 50,000
Clearing Charges₦100,000
Total Clearing Cost₦700,000

The process of clearing a car in Nigeria

The cost of shipping a car from the USA to Nigeria or from Canada to Nigeria may differ but the process of clearing a vehicle remains the same. Here is the process to clear a car in Nigeria:

1. Provide the vehicle’s bill of lading 

The Bill of Lading is an important document that also serves as a receipt. It proves your cargo came on the ship. Your foreign shipping agent would have to send it through a courier. Sometimes the document is sent through the Internet. Hence, you can easily print it at your convenience. 

If this document is not available you will be unable to clear your vehicle at the port. In the bill of your lading, there you will find information about your vehicle.

It contains the port of origin, car name, year of manufacture, weight, name of the vessel, chassis number/VIN, and the port of destination. Details of the consignee and shipping agent are also clearly indicated.  

2. Apply for import duty valuation

You cannot apply for an import duty valuation yourself. Hence, you need the services of a registered and licensed custom clearing agency. The agency would have to apply using their official letterhead and address the Nigerian custom office. You also have to attach a copy of the bill of lading to the letter of application. 

As mentioned earlier, the customs official would use the CIF value (which is in dollars) for valuation purposes. Then, calculate the surface duty charge after the CIF is converted to naira. The 35% levy is also added which raises the cost to 47.25%. 

3. Get assessment notice 

When the customs operatives are done with the valuation, the would input the information into their server. Amongst clearing agents this process is usually called “punching,” while it is known officially as DTI – Direct Trader Input.

The clearing agents would assist in submitting the electronic manifest. The consignee’s TIN (Tax Identification Number) would be included in the documents.

After successfully submitting the electronic manifest, the Assessment Notice would be printed. This notice is commonly known as the Single Gods Declaration Form.

The notice contains relevant information on the transaction, such as the vehicle type, terminal of arrival, amount paid as duty, and any consignment in the vehicle.

4. Pay import duty

During the punching process, you will be given the account number of Nigerian Customs to make payment. You will carry along with you the Assessment Notice and the account details while going to the bank to male the required payment. 

At the completion of import duty payment, a receipt is given as evidence of payment. In a case where the payment is done online, you would need to visit the bank to collect proof of payment. 

5. Submit documents for vehicle inspection

All the documents we have mentioned so far should be compiled and submitted to the Customs’ office in order to process vehicle inspection. The documents to take along include the bill of lading, assessment notice, valuation copy, SGD, and bank receipt. 

After submitting the relevant documents, they would be acknowledged by customs and a date for the physical examination will be scheduled. With the information at their disposal, they can identify the car and confirm if the documents submitted are accurate. 

Another important information they will need to confirm is the chassis number, the year of manufacture, and the make of the car.

The amount paid for import duty would be compared to the required amount. After which a report is made to process the car release. 

Note: If the amount paid as import duty is less than the required amount the vehicle will not be released. For example, paying a fee for a Camry 2008 model when your car is actually a 2016 version will not get your call released. In that case, the outstanding will have to be paid to process release. 

6. Print an exit copy

When you are done with vehicle inspection, you can head over to the Terminal your car arrived with your SGD. The SGD is required to print an exit copy.

An alternative would be to print the exit copy using the C-Number available on your documents. This would not take much of your time. 

7. Get the vehicle released from the shipping company

You should get all the documents ready to release your vehicle from the company used for shipping. The bill of lading, exit copy, SGD, and consignee personal information is required.

National ID (NIMC Card or Slip), Internal Passport, Driver’s License, and Certificate of Incorporation for Companies that are duly signed and stamped. 

A copy of the Form C30 and letter used to apply for valuation is required. Form C30 is a document that gives a clearing agency permission to function.

After the documents are evaluated by the shipping company, you will be required to pay the cost of shipping and the terminal charges. There usually provision for cash payments and e-Payments. 

8. Do some documentation at the gate office

You can now head to the gate office to register and sign-off your documents. While going to this office, you will carry along the exit copy and customs release document.

They would verify both documents with the system and authenticate the duty paid. When completed, your documents will be stamped and signed-off in this office.

9. Collect the terminal delivery order 

In order to collect the TDO (Terminal Delivery Order), you need the receipt from the shipping company and documents signed at the Gate office. 

At this stage, your vehicle would be delivered to the open floor as soon as the documents are submitted. Then, you can be sure that the vehicle is soon to cross through the exits.  

10. Pay final customs examination fee

When you are on the open floor, an examination will be done by the company’s official and customs officers to ensure there are no discrepancies, before you are allowed to drive your car from the port. 

You still have to pay some fees to the customs officer doing the checks, Association of Clearing Agents, and some random individuals.

How to verify if a vehicle has been cleared by the Nigerian Customs Service

The verification of a car status can be done at the Nigerian Customs Service Zonal Centres and by SMS. There are four Custom zonal offices in Nigeria. At their office, you can pay a fee if your car is labelled as uncleared. 

Nigerian Customs Zonal Office

ZoneAddress
Zone A (Headquarters)1 Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos
Zone B (Headquarters)Kabala Doki, Kaduna
Zone C (Headquarters)Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt
Zone D (Headquarters)Yelwa Tudu Road, Bauchi State

The other method of verification is to text your C-number, year duty was paid and port of arrival to NCS official phone numbers.

Here are the phone numbers of Nigerian Customs Service you can contact 094621599, 094621598 and 094621597. It wouldn’t take long before your query is responded to. 

Well, anything that has to do with the customs office is stressful, so you have to always follow due process. When a car is not cleared it is referred to as a smuggled car. And that can lead to more fines and even warrant an arrest. 

The Bottom Line

So far we have discussed the process and cost of clearing several car models in Nigeria. Hence, you should have an idea of the price it would take you to clear one.

You have to be very careful with Custom agents and deals as there are also bad eggs amidst them. It is best to deal with those that you were recommended to. 

If you have any question regarding anything mentioned in the article, you can drop a question or reach any zonal office of the NCS to request for more information on clearing cars in the port of your choice. 

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