To simply put, Customs duty is a tax that people pay for importing and exporting goods. The federal government levies customs duties on most imports into Nigeria. The import duty varies from 5% to 60% and on average is about 12%. All imports are also subject to a 7% port charge and a 5% value-added tax (VAT). Note that the paperwork necessary for exporting and importing is lengthy.
Often times you might want to purchase some goods and be unsure if the custom’s duty on the good(s) has been paid. Many people have gotten themselves in trouble because the customs duty on a product was not paid or was short paid.
This is why before you purchase some goods or after getting your custom duty papers for a vehicle you have just bought, you should verify the authenticity of the documents. Before now, the process of verification of a customs duty used to be hectic. However, in 2018, Nigeria customs announced that the public can now check and confirm Customs duty on the spot through a much easier method.
Many people wonder how to check custom duty online in Nigeria. This article provides you with information on how to check a Customs duty online and other verification options.
Goods such as electronics imported into Nigeria whether new and fairly used has to go through customs and therefore must have custom papers.
How to Check a Customs Duty Online in Nigeria
Custom Duty Papers
The custom duty papers include single goods declaration (SGD) forms. The SDG forms have a Customs Reference Numbers which is also known as a C- number. The C- number is used to store and file every detail of imported goods. This number is assigned to the database of the Nigerian Customs Service. For example, no two vehicles are assigned the same Customs Reference Numbers or C- number. Every vehicle has a unique C-number.
The C-Number is a critical piece of information on Customs duty papers. The Custom- reference number can be found on the top right corner of the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) forms. The Custom reference number comes in this format (C-144..) and is used to input the entire details of your goods such as the into the Customs database during clearing process and import duty payment.
Other details of the imported goods include information such as the name of consignee, clearing agency’s details, office of entry (PTML/TINCAN/….), etc.
How to check custom duty online
At the moment, you cannot check or verify custom duty online. However, the Nigeria Customs Service has made other options available for verification of your custom duty papers from the comfort of your home or anywhere.
The Nigeria customs duty has released their helpdesk contacts for members of the public who would like to check their custom papers without having to pay a visit to the office of the Nigeria customs. The helpdesk contacts are 094621598, 094621597, and 094621599.
The helpdesks contacts are three in order to allow for easy flow. The last number which is 7 in the digits, 094621597 can be changed to 8 or 9 so that the public can get faster responses from different customs personnel on duty at any point in time.
To check the genuineness or authenticity of the custom papers, call any of these numbers and hold on for an answer. You will be required to provide the following details:
Customs Reference Numbers or C- number (mentioned earlier)
Year of payment
The Nigeria Customs Command where the customs duty was paid
While you are providing this information, the Nigeria Customs officer at the other end of the call is already entering the information you are providing into their system to help you verify if they have it in their database. This process does not take long. It is expected that within five minutes, you should get a response on whether the customs duty paper details you have provided is genuine.
How to Verify if the Customs duty on a Vehicle is genuine
When you want to buy a car from a car dealer, it is extremely important that you verify if the custom papers are genuine. Many have fallen into the hands of fraudulent car dealers who smuggle cars into the country and make fake papers to give the buyers. You can ask for the custom papers of a car for verification so as to avoid buying a stolen vehicle, this can put you in serious trouble such as embarrassment or seizure of your vehicle during Nigeria custom paper check.
Some fraudulent clearing agents do what is referred to as “Outside Valuation or Machined Outside”. These ones ignore the import duty value that’s quoted by the Customs Valuation Officer. They then patronize some other fraudulent Customs Officers who forge customs documentation and bank receipts. These vehicles are smuggled out of the ports or through the land borders. This is the reason most car importers/buyers prefer to carry out independent verifications to ensure their vehicles were properly cleared.
You can verify the authenticity of the custom papers of your vehicle with a code number.
All you need to do is dial or send an SMS to this number 09 4621597, 09 4621598, 09 4621599
You will then need to provide the following information:
Custom reference number or C-number
The year you paid the duty
The last 6 digits of your vehicle number
The paid duty amount on the SGD
The port or location through which the vehicle came into the country.
You will find all this information on the Single Goods Declaration Form (SGD).
Once you have provided all this information, you will get a response whether your vehicle duty clearance is genuine or not in just about five minutes.
If the papers are genuine, you can proceed to purchase your car. Even though the option of direct verification online has not been made available, you can now verify the genuineness of your papers from the comfort of your home. Ensure you use the telephone helpdesk for verification purposes.