The Complete 2004 Laws of Nigeria

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PRE-SHIPMENT INSPECTION OF EXPORTS ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Pre-shipment inspection of exports, etc.

SECTION

1. Pre-shipment inspection of goods.

  1. Goods liable to pre-shipment inspection.
  2. Exemptions, etc., from pre-shipment inspection.
  3. Inspection of second-hand goods.
  4. Inspection of chemical-based goods.
  5. Inspection of pharmaceutical products.

PARTII

Issuance of Certificate of Inspection

  1. Issuance of Provisional Certificate of Inspection.
  2. Issuance of Clean Certificate of Inspection.
  3. Distribution of copies of Certificate of Inspection.

PART III

Payment for exports, etc.

  1. Modes of payments for exports in Nigeria.
  2. Exporters to open foreign currency domiciliary accounts.

PART IV

Administration

  1. Appointment of inspecting agents.
  2. General administration of this Act.
  3. Establishment, etc., of special account by the Central Bank.
  4. Technical Committee to assist Central Bank.
  5. Saving of pre-shipment duties of some departments, etc.
  6. Modifications to existing legislations.

PART V

Miscellaneous

  1. Offences and penalties for unlawful exportation.
  2. Proof of certain documents.
  3. Prosecution and trial of offences.

 

SECTION

  1. Power of the Central Bank to compound proceedings, etc.
  2. Power to issue directives.
  3. Annual reports.
  4. Contractual obligations of exporters not affected by Act.
  5. Interpretation.
  6. Short title.

 

An Act to make provision for the inspection of goods in Nigeria prior to their ship-
ment to a place outside Nigeria.

[1996 No. 10.]

[19th April, 1966]

[Commencement.]

PART I

Pre-shipment inspection of exports, etc.

  1. Pre-shipment inspection of goods

(1) As from the commencement of this Act, no goods to which this Act applies shall
be exported from Nigeria unless an inspecting agent appointed pursuant to section 12 of
this Act has issued in respect of the goods a Clean Certificate of Inspection to the over-
seas buyers of the goods.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt, no agency or department of any government of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria shall as from the commencement of this Act issue Clean
Certificate of Findings in respect of the goods to which this Act applies except the in-
specting agent appointed pursuant to section 12 of this Act.

(3) Any person intending to export any goods to which this Act applies shall, prior to
the shipment of those goods from Nigeria-

       (a)               complete and furnish his bank with such number of copies of the prescribed
form as may be specified in guidelines issued pursuant to this Act; and

       (b)              provide such additional information as may be required, from time to time, by
the bank and any appropriate agency of the Federal Government.

(4) To facilitate the carrying out of the duties imposed on an inspecting agent by or
pursuant to this Act, the exporter shall, in addition to the requirements referred to in sub-
section (3) of this section, ensure that-

       (a)        the inspecting agent is given not less than ten days' notice prior to the pro-
posed date of the pre-shipment inspection;

           (b)       the inspecting agent is provided with a copy of the proforma invoice, indent,
purchase order, price list, letter of credit, contract agreement and any other
document relevant to the transaction and which the inspecting agent may con-
sider necessary for the proper carrying out of the pre-shipment inspection;

             (c)        the inspecting agent is provided with all necessary facilities to enable the in-
specting agent to carry out quality and quantity inspections, price comparison
and other processes as may be required in the circumstances;

             (d)       all necessary arrangements are made for the handling, presentation, including
unpacking and repacking, sampling, shop testing and any other thing required
to be done in connection with the inspection of the goods;

             (e)        the inspecting agent is provided with a copy of the final invoice covering the
goods; and

                                (f)         he complies with such other conditions as may be prescribed.

(5) The goods which are liable to pre-shipment inspection by an inspecting agent and
the type of pre-shiprnent to which some goods or categories of goods shall be subject, are
as set out in sections 2, 4, 5 and 6 of this Act.

(6) For the purposes of this section and the other provisions of this Act-

"pre-shipment inspection" means inspection of goods in Nigeria prior to the ship-
ment of those goods outside Nigeria.

  1. Goods liable to pre-shipment inspection

Subject to the exceptions and qualifications specified in section 3 of this Act, all oil
and non-oil goods are liable to pre-shipment inspection by an inspecting agent with re-
spect to their quality, quantity and price comparison.

3. Exemptions, etc., from pre-shipment inspection

The goods listed in the Export Prohibition List set out in the Sixth Schedule to the
Customs, Excise, Tariff, etc., (Consolidation) Act, objects of art, explosives, pyrotechnic
products, arms, ammunition, weapons, implements of war, animals, household and other
non-commercial products, including-

[1995 No. 4. Cap. C49.]

       (a)       gifts and personal effects;

       (b)       trade samples and printed business matters;

       (c)        machinery and equipment being shipped out of Nigeria for repairs and return;

       (d)       return of empty container;

       (e)        transhipments;      

        (f)        supplies to diplomatic consular missions and international organizations for
their own needs;

       (g)       such other goods as may be prescribed,

are hereby exempted from pre-shiprnent inspection.

  1. Inspection of second-hand goods

Where the inspecting agent inspects second-hand goods, the conclusion drawn re-
garding quality, condition and valuation shall only be approximative.

  1. Inspection of chemical-based goods

(1) The inspecting agent shall, with respect to dyestuffs, paints, insecticides, special
chemicals, cosmetics, wines (other than in bulk), spirit and similar goods, restrict its pre-
shipment inspection to quantity inspection and comparative pricing analysis and not to
the quality inspection of the goods.

(2) In this section-

"special chemical" means any chemical product not included under cosmetics, dye-

stuffs, paints, insecticides, and which-

       (a)        is not used in any pharmaceutical or medical preparations;

       (b)        is unique in that it is produced by a specific manufacturer; and

       (c)        has a formula that is covered by a brand name or is confidential.

  1. Inspection of pharmaceutical products

The inspecting agent shall, with respect to the inspection of pharmaceutical products,

restrict its pre-shiprnent inspection to-

       (a)       the inspection of the expiry date;

       (b)       cost of the products to be exported; and

               (c)       ensuring that the products conform with the active ingredients and chemical
requirements specified by the overseas buyer.

PART II

Issuance of Certificate of Inspection

  1. Issuance of Provisional Certificate of Inspection

(1) The inspecting agent shall, on receipt of the documents and particulars referred to
in subsections (2) and (3) of section 1 of this Act-

                           (a)       scrutinise the documents and particulars; and

       (b)       immediately thereafter, conduct an initial examination of the goods prior to
their being loaded into containers and carriers at the port.

(2) The inspecting agent shall, if satisfied with the documents and particulars and the
examination specified in subsection (1) of this section, issue to the exporter a document
to be known as a Provisional Certificate of Inspection.

  1. Issuance of Clean Certificate of Inspection

                   (1) Upon inspecting and loading of the goods into containers and carriers prior to
shipment, the inspecting agent shall, if-

                         (a)              satisfied that the requirements as to quality, quantity and price of the goods

have been complied with, issue to the exporter a document to be known as a
Clean Certificate ofInspection;

      (b)        not satisfied that the requirements specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection
have been complied with, issue to the exporter a document to be known as a
Non-negotiable Certificate of Inspection,

in respect of the goods.

(2) Where the exporter subsequent to the issuance of a Non-negotiable Certificate of
Inspection makes the necessary adjustments as to the quality, quantity or price of the
goods, as the case may be, the inspecting agent may issue a Clean Certificate of Inspec-
tion in respect of the goods concerned.

(3) Where goods are sold on international contracts requiring settlements to be based
upon the discharged quantity and quality, the inspecting agent, where necessary, shall
attend at the overseas port of discharge to certify the quantity and quality of the goods
and repatriable proceeds.       

  1. Distribution of copies of Certificate of Inspection

(1) The inspecting agent shall, on issuing a Clean Certificate of Inspection in respect
of goods inspected pursuant to this Act, send an original copy each of the Clean Certifi-
cate of Inspection to-

(a) The Federal Ministry of Finance;

(b) The Nigerian Customs Service;

(c) The Nigerian Ports Authority;

(d) The exporter;

(e) The exporter's bank, for onward transmission to the buyer's bank overseas; and

(f)  The Central Bank

(2) A copy of the Clean Certificate of Inspection issued by the inspecting agent under

this Act shall be attached by the exporter to all relevant shipping documents and carriers
of the goods in question to deliver the said documents including the original bill of lading
issued in respect of the goods to the collecting or negotiating bank specified in the pre-
scribed form referred to under subsection (3) of section 1 of this Act.

(3) The inspecting agent shall also furnish reports, on a weekly basis, giving details

of all successfully executed pre-shipment inspections, to-

      (a)        the Federal Ministry of Finance;

(b)      the Federal Ministry of Commerce; and
(c)      the Central Bank.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt, no payment shall be made to the credit of any person
in respect of goods liable to pre-shipment inspection which are exported outside Nigeria,
unless a Certificate of Inspection in respect of those goods is presented together with the
shipping documents.

 

                                                                      PART III

Payment for exports, etc.

10. Modes of payments for exports in Nigeria

As from the commencement of this Act, it shall be unlawful for payments to be made
for the exports covered by this Act except by means of letters of credit or other approved
international modes of payments.

11. Exporters to open foreign currency domiciliary accounts

An exporter of goods, including petroleum products, shall open, maintain and operate
a foreign currency domiciliary account in Nigeria into which shall be paid all exports
proceeds corresponding to the entire proceeds of the exports concerned.

PART IV

Administration

12. Appointment of inspecting agents

The President shall appoint such number of companies as inspecting agents to carry
out any pre-shiprnent inspection required by or pursuant to this Act.

(2) In the exercise of the power to appoint an inspecting agent pursuant to subsec-
tion (1) of this section, the President may appoint an inspecting agent to cover a specific
country or countries or group of countries within a specified geographical location.

(3) Subject to the provisions of section 16 of this Act, nothing in subsections (l)
and (2) of this section shall be construed as preventing pre-shiprnent inspection pursuant
to this Act of any goods (whether or not goods of a description mentioned in this Act) by
any department or agency of the government of the Federation or of a State or of any
statutory body (corporate or unincorporate) established by that government or accredited
representative of that such government or by any exporter or his authorised agent.

13. General administration of this Act

(1) The Central Bank shall be charged generally with the responsibility for the ad-
ministration of the provisions of this Act.

(2) The Central Bank shall make regulations and prescribe such forms as may be re-
quired for the purpose of carrying out the intendment of this Act.

14. Establishment, etc., of special account by the Central Bank

(1) There shall be established and maintained at the Central Bank a special account
for the purpose of this Act.

(2) There shall be paid and credited into the special account established pursuant to
subsection (1) of this section the levies payable by exporters of goods on all oil and non-
oil exports as may be approved in guidelines issued pursuant to this Act by the Federal
Government, from time to time.

(3) All expenses relating to the remuneration, fees and other charges payable to the

inspecting agents shall be defrayed from the special account.

(4) Any balance remaining in the special account after making the payments referred
to in subsection (3) of this section shall be used to fund the pre-shipment inspection pro-
gramme established pursuant to this Act.

15. Technical Committee to assist Central Bank

      (1) The Technical Committee (hereinafter referred to as "the Technical Committee")
established under the Pre-shipment Inspection of Imports Act shall assist the Central
Bank in the discharge of its functions under this Act.

(2) For the purpose of this Act, the Technical Committee shall comprise a represen-

tative each of the following, that is-

       (a)       the Central Bank;

       (b)       the Federal Ministry of Finance;

       (c)        the Federal Ministry of Commerce;

       (d)       the Federal Ministry ofIndustry;

       (e)        the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (Inspectorate Division);

       (f)         the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;

       (g)       the Nigerian Customs Service; and

       (h)       the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

(3) The Technical Committee shall for the purpose of this Act make standing orders
regulating its meetings and the frequency of such meetings.

(4) The quorum of the meetings of the Technical Committee shall be five.

16. Saving of pre-shipment duties of some departments, etc.

(1) Without prejudice to the duty imposed on the inspecting agent to take responsi-
bility for all pre-shipment inspections carried out pursuant to this Act, the following de-
partments and agencies of the government of the Federation, that is to say-

       (a)       the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources;

      (b)       the Quarantine Division of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural De-
velopment;

       (c)        the Standard Organisation of Nigeria; and

       (d)       the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control,

shall continue to carry out the specific pre-shipment inspection functions which had hith-
erto been carried out by those departments and agencies prior to the coming into force of
this Act except that the responsibility for the issuance of the Clean Certificate of Inspec-
tion provided for under this Act shall be vested only in the inspecting agent appointed
under section 12 of this Act.

 

 (2) The functions conferred on the Produce Inspection Officers under the Produce
(Enforcement of Exports Standards) Act and the rules, regulations and directions issued
thereunder shall as from the commencement of this Act be restricted to the following,
that is-

       (a)       the carrying out of pest control and fumigation at the ports of shipment; and

      (b)      ensuring that the material used for packaging of goods for export are of good
quality.

 (3) In addition to the specific functions conferred under subsection (2) of this section,
the Weights and Measures Division of the Federal Ministry of Commerce shall continue
to carry out functions relating to the calibration of crude oil prior to the export thereof in
collaboration with the inspecting agents appointed under section 12 of this Act.

17. Modifications to existing legislations

(1) The provisions of any existing law or enactment conferring pre-shipment inspec-
tion functions on the departments and agencies referred to in subsections (1), (2) and (3)
of section 16 of this Act shall be read with such modifications so as to bring them into
conformity with the provisions of this Act.

(2) Where any other law or enactment, including the laws referred to in subsection
(1) of this section, are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, the provisions of this
Act shall prevail and that other law shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.

PART V

Miscellaneous

18. Offences and penalties for unlawful exportation

(1) Any person who, at any time after the commencement of this Act, knowingly ex-
ports goods liable to pre-shipment inspection under this Act otherwise than in compliance
with the provisions of this Act, is guilty of an offence under this Act.

(2) Any person found guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on conviction-

       (a)      in the case of an individual, to a fine of N50,000 or the value of the goods,
whichever is higher, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than twelve
months or to both such fine and imprisonment; and

       (b)      in the case of a body corporate, to a tine of N l00,000 or twice the value of
goods, whichever is higher.

(3) Where an offence under this section is proved to have been committed with the
consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director,
manager, secretary or other similar officer, servant or agent of the body corporate (or any
person purporting to act in such capacity), that person as well as the body corporate shall
be deemed to be guilty of the offence and may be proceeded against and punished in the
same manner as an individual under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, "value" means the amount
stated on the face of the document or documents relating to the transaction in question

 

and, where this is not expressed in Nigerian currency, its equivalent in Nigerian currency,
so however, that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as precluding proof of
value by any other method or means permitted by any other enactment or law (including
rules of law).

(5) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, it shall be a defence to an of-
fence under this section for the person charged with the offence, inc1uding-

                               (a)       the exporter of goods in respect of which the otfence has been committed;

              (b)      any consignee or endorsee for valuable consideration of any bill of lading or
any other appropriate document representing goods to have been shipped from
Nigeria; and

              (c)       any other person who in the normal course of his duties handles exported
goods,

to prove that the goods in question were exported without default on his part or by fraud
or negligence of the exporter or of any other person.

19. Proof of certain documents

(1) Without prejudice to any other mode of proof, if in any proceedings taken before
a court under this Act, any book or document in the official custody of the Central Bank
or the proper officer is required to be used as evidence as to the transactions to which it
relates, copies thereof or extracts thereof certified by the Central Bank or proper officer
shall be admissible for that purpose, without production of the original.

(2) In any proceedings under this Act, documents issued pursuant to or in connection
to its provisions and copies of official documents purporting to be certified under the
hand and seal or stamp of the principal officers of the inspecting agent or of any of its
principal representatives in Nigeria or abroad shall be sufficient evidence of the matters
stated therein unless the contrary is proved.

20. Prosecution and trial of offences

(1) The prosecution of offences under this Act shall be at the instance of the Attor-
ney-General of the Federation or by such other officer as the Attorney-General may
authorise so to do.

(2) The question as to whether any authority has been given in pursuance of subsec-
tion (1) of this section or what the authority was shall not be enquired into by any person
except at the instance of the Attorney-General.

(3) Every proceeding under this Act shall, subject to the applicable procedure, be
commenced in the Federal High Court and reference in this Act to "court" shall be con-
strued accordingly.

21. Power of the Central Bank to compound proceedings, etc.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Central Bank may-

             (a)        without prejudice to the provisions of section 174 of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (which relate to the power of the Attorney-
General of the Federation to institute, continue or discontinue criminal

proceedings against any person in any court of law), stay or compound any
proceedings for an offence or for the forfeiture of any goods under the provi-
sions of this Act: of

[Cap. C23.]

              (b)       subject to the approval of the Minister, restore any goods forfeited pursuant to
the provisions of this Act.

(2) The powers conferred on the Central Bank under this section shall be exercised so
as not to defeat the objects of this Act.

22. Power to issue directives

The Minister may give directives and issue such guidelines as may be required, from
time to time, for carrying into effect the objectives of this Act.

23. Annual reports

(1) The Technical Committee shall, not later than fifteen months after the com-
mencement of this Act and thereafter at intervals of twelve months, prepare and submit,
to the Minister, a report on the operation of the pre-shipment inspection scheme during
the immediate preceding year.

(2) The Minister shall lay each report submitted to him under this section before the
President.

24. Contractual obligations of exporters not affected by Act

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as relieving any exporter of his contractual ob-
ligations to the overseas importer of any goods liable to pre-shipment inspection or of any
other goods.

25. Interpretation

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

"Central Bank" means the Central Bank of Nigeria established under the Central
Bank of Nigeria Act;

"inspecting agent" means an inspecting agent appointed under section 12 of this Act;

"Minister" means the Minister charged with the responsibility for matters relating to
finance;

"exporter" includes any supplier or seller of goods in Nigeria;

"oil exports" includes crude oil and petroleum products;

"prescribed" means prescribed by the Minister by order published in the Federal
Gazette;

"pre-shipment inspection" means inspection of goods in Nigeria prior to shipment

of those goods outside Nigeria as provided in this Act;

"Technical Committee" means the Technical Committee refened to in section 15 of
this Act; and

"shipment" means transfer of goods by sea, air, road, rail or any other means what-
soever and "shipped" shall be construed accordingly.

26. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Pre-Shiprnent Inspection of Exports Act.

      SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

No Subsidiary Legislation