Nigeria Customs Service Prohibited Items in Nigeria


The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is a para-military organization tasked with the responsibilities of receiving and accounting for revenues and curbing anti-smuggling activities in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Customs Service collaborates with other security agencies in Nigeria in achieving its main aim which is to suppress and prevent smuggling of merchandises.

The Nigeria Customs Service is mandated to intercept and foil contraband merchandises such as weapons and illegal substances or drugs, inspect travellers, baggage, inbound mails, cargo, as well as inspect and receive customs duties and taxes on merchandises. The NCS also provides a degree of protection towards business against trade practices considered as illegal in Nigeria.

The NCS is also mandated to enforce, restrict and prohibit import and export practices, trades and goods. The NCS is also saddled with collecting precise import and export data and statistics for economic planning and usage. Often regarded as Nigeria’s gatekeepers, the NCS rely on and physically assess containers, travellers and, or vessels, and also carry out investigations, audits and some cases, prosecute offenders.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), from time to time,  prohibits certain goods, products or merchandises from being imported into the country while also making sure that certain items marked as prohibited items are not exported out of Nigeria.

In this post, we shall be looking at all import and export prohibition list in Nigeria by the Nigeria Customs Service, i.e, items that you are either not allowed to import into Nigeria our export for whatever reasons. Note that an individual can risk being prosecuted in the event of being found, caught or discovered to be in possession of these prohibited items, other than risk forfeiting them.

Without further ado, let us take a look at all Nigeria Customs Service prohibited items in Nigeria.

Nigeria Customs Service Import Prohibition List

  1. Spaghetti/Noodles
  2. Cocoa Butter, Powder, and Cakes
  3. Bagged Cement
  4. Soaps and Detergents
  5. Used Compressors, Used Air Conditioners and Used Fridges/Freezers
  6. Telephone Re-charge Cards and Vouchers
  7. Cocoa Butter, Powder, and Cakes
  8. Mosquito Repellant Coils
  9. Ball Point Pens and parts including refills
  10. Carpets and other Textile floor coverings
  11. Corrugated Paper and Paper Boards, cartons, boxes and cases made from corrugated paper and paper boards, toilet paper, cleaning or facial tissue (excluding baby diapers and incontinent pads for adult use), and Exercise Books
  12. Waste Pharmaceuticals
  13. Tomato paste or concentrate put up for retail sale
  14. Waters, including Mineral Waters and Aerated Waters containing added Sugar or Sweetening Matter or Flavoured, ice snow, other non-alcoholic beverages (but excluding energy or Health Drinks {Liquid Dietary Supplements} e.g. Power Horse, Red Ginseng, etc), Beer and Stout (Bottled, Canned or Otherwise packed)
  15. Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form containing added flavouring or colouring matter
  16. Refined Vegetable Oils and Fats (but excluding refined Linseed, Castor and Olive oils. Crude vegetable oil are however NOT banned from importation)
  17. Pork, Beef
  18. Rethreaded and used Pneumatic tyres but excluding used trucks tyres for rethreading of sized 11.00 x 20 and above
  19. Hollow Glass Bottles of a capacity exceeding 150mls (0.15 litres) of all kinds used for packaging of beverages by breweries and other beverage and drink companies
  20. Live or Dead Birds including Frozen Poultry
  21. Mineral or chemical fertilizers containing two or three of the fertilizing elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK 15-15-15), excluding organic fertilizer.
  22. Used Motor Vehicles above fifteen (15) years from the year of manufacture
  23. All types of Foot Wears, Bags and Suitcases (but excluding Safety Shoes used in oil industries, Sports Shoes, canvass shoes all Completely Knocked Down (CKD) blanks and parts)
  24. Fruit Juice in Retail Packs
  25. Medicaments falling under Headings 3003 and 3004 as indicated below:
    1. Paracetamol Tablets and Syrups
    2. Cotrimoxazole Tablets Syrups
    3. Metronidazole Tablets and Syrups
    4. Chloroquine Tablets and Syrups
    5. Haematinic Formulations; Ferrous Sulphate and Ferrous Gluconate Tablets, Folic Acid Tablets, Vitamine B Complex Tablet [except modified released formulations].
    6. Multivitamin Tablets, capsules, and Syrups [except special formulations].
    7. Aspirin Tablets [except modified released formulation and soluble aspirin].
    8. Magnesium trisilicate tablets and suspensions.
    9. Piperazine tablets and Syrups
    10. Levamisole Tablets and Syrups
    11. Clotrimazole Cream
    12. Ointments – Penecilin/Gentamycin
    13. Pyrantel Pamoate tablets and Syrups
    14. Intravenous Fluids [Dextrose, Normal Saline, etc.]

Goods: Prohibited Goods That Are Absolutely Prohibited

  1. Air Pistols
  2. Airmail Photographic Printing Paper
  3. All counterfeit/pirated materials or articles including Base or Counterfeit Coin of any Country.
  4. Beads composed of inflammable celluloid or other similar substances
  5. Blank invoices
  6. Coupons for Foreign Football pools or other betting arrangements
  7. Cowries
  8. Exhausted tea or tea mixed with other substances. For the purposes of this item, “exhausted tea” means any tea which has been deprived of its proper quality, strength, or virtue by steeping, infusion, decoction or other means
  9. Implements appertaining to the reloading of cartridges
  10. Indecent or obscene prints, painting, books, cards, engraving or any indecent or obscene articles
  11. Manilas
  12. Matches made with white phosphorous
  13. Materials of any description with a design which, considering the purpose for which any such material is intended to be used, is likely in – the opinion of the president to create a breach of the peace or to offend the religious views of any class of persons in Nigeria
  14. Meat, Vegetables or other provisions declared by a health officer to be unfit for human consumption
  15. Piece goods and all other textiles including wearing apparel, hardware of all kinds’ crockery and china or earthenware goods bearing inscriptions (whether in Roman or Arabic characters) from the Koran or from the traditions and commentaries on the Koran
  16. Pistols disguised in any form
  17. Second-hand clothing
  18. Silver or metal alloy coins not being legal tender in Nigeria
  19. Nuclear Industrial waste and other Toxic waste
  20. Spirits: –
    • Other than –
        • Alcoholic bitters, liqueurs, cordials and mixtures admitted as such in his discretion by the Comptroller-General and which are not deemed to be injurious spirits within the meaning of any enactment or law relating to liquor or liquor licensing.
        • Brandy, i.e. a Spirit Distilled in Grape-growing countries from fermented grape juice and from no other materials and Stored in wood for a period of three years;
        • Drugs and medicinal spirits admitted as such in his discretion by the Comptroller-General.
        • Gin, i.e. Spirit- Produced by distillation from a mixed mash of cereal grains only saccharified by the diastase of malt and the Flavoured by redistillation with juniper berries and other vegetable ingredients and of a brand which has been notified as an approved brand by notice in the Gazette and in containers labeled with the name and address of the owner of the brand; or
          Produced by distillation at least three times in a pot-still from mixed mash or barley, rye and maize saccharified by diastase of malt – and then rectified by re-distillation in a potstill after the addition of juniper berries and other vegetable materials.
        • Methylated or denatured spirit, i.e. – Mineralized Methylated spirit mixed as follows: – To every ninety parts by volume of spirits nine and one-half parts by volume of wood naphtha and one-half of one part by volume of crude pyridine and to every 455 litres of the mixture 1.7 litres of mineral naphtha or petroleum oil and not less than 0.7 grammes by weight of powdered aniline dye (Methyl violet) and so in proportion for any quantity less than 455 litres; and
          Industrial Methylated spirit imported under license from the Comptroller-General and mixed as follows: – To every ninety-five parts by volume of spirits five parts by volume of wood naphtha and also one-half of one part by volume of the mixture; and
          Spirits denatured for a particular purpose in such manner as the Comptroller-General in any special circumstance may permit;
        • Perfumed Spirits
        • Rum i.e. a Spirit – Distilled direct from sugar-cane products in sugar-cane growing countries; and
          Stored in wood for a period of three years.
        • Spirits imported for medical or scientific purposes, subject to such conditions as the Comptroller-General may prescribe;
        • Spirits totally unfit for use as portable spirits admitted to entry as such in the discretion by the Comptroller-General; and
      • Whisky, i.e. a Spirit- Obtained by distillation from a mash or cereal grains saccharified by diastase of malt; and
        Stored in wood for a period of three years.
      • Containing more than forty-eight and one-half per centum of pure alcohol by volume except denatured, medicated and perfumed spirits, and such other spirits which the Comptroller-General, in his discretion, may allow to be imported subject to such conditions as he may see fit to Impose.
      • Weapons of any description which in the opinion of the Comptroller-General are designed for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other similar substance and any ammunition containing or in the opinion of the Comptroller- General or adapted to contain any noxious liquid, gas or other similar substances

Nigeria Customs Service Export Prohibition List

  1. Wildlife animals classified as endangered species and their products e.g. Crocodile; Elephant, Lizard, Eagle, Monkey, Zebra, Lion, etc.
  2. Raw hides and skin (including Wet Blue and all unfinished leather)
  3. Maize
  4. Scrap Metals
  5. Artifacts and Antiquities
  6. Timber (rough or sawn)
  7. Unprocessed rubber latex and rubber lumps
  8. All goods imported

As part of the Nigeria Customs Service core functions, these items are banned from either being imported or exported. It is, therefore, best to note that prohibited items should be best avoided in order not to risk being prosecuted, or at worse, jailed. Kindly drop a comment to let us know what you think about the list and help spread the message by sharing this post if you found it useful. Thanks!

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