import and export business international trade

7 Export Documents in Nigeria You Need To Obtain

Last updated on August 26th, 2022 at 02:49 pm


Selling in large quantities to foreign buyers requires some documentation, in this guide, we will discuss export documents in Nigeria a seller is expected to get to have a smooth international trade with their buyers.

Export in this guide means sales of a large number of non-oil products to consumers or manufacturers of raw materials to finished products around the world.

To get started, the documents below (which are also sub-divided into sections) will be required at different stages of your business:

  1. Company Registration Documents
  2. Exporter Registration Document
  3. Export Contract Document
  4. Commercial Documents
  5. Financial Documents
  6. Goods Movement Documents
  7. Quality Assurance Documents

Obtaining the above documents is a hurdle you must cross one after the other, follow us as we take you through the process.

Company Registration Documents

Your first step if you want to make your business go global is to register your company with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which is available at:

After company registration, your next point of call is the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to apply and obtain an export licence, which is done online.

Export Contract Document

This is the simplest of them all because this document is prepared by you and your buyer in the destination country. In simple terms, it’s an export contract between the seller and buyer.

Commercial Documents

This is subdivided into:

  • Proforma Invoice
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
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It is your responsibility as the exporter to prepare and issue the above documents.

The proforma Invoice contains the quantity and price of the products you want to export.

While a commercial invoice indicates the value of goods for export in the currency of transaction, a packing list outlines the total quantity and unit of products for export.

Financial Documents

The exporter (from the originating country) and the importer (in the destination country) are involved in preparing these documents.

One, it is evidence of financial transaction between buyer and seller; Two, the document enables authority in Nigeria to track the movement of cash to ensure that it conforms with the financial regulation for exports.

The financial documents contain the following:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • NXP form
  • Final Invoice

Commercial Invoice

This is a customs document prepared by you (the exporter ) to indicate the value of the goods for export in the currency of the transaction. You need the commercial invoice to process NXP.

NXP Form:

Also known as the Nigeria Export Proceed form, it shows the value of the export transaction. It enables the government to gain access to the volume of export and its impact on Nigeria’s economy.

Not just that, it also enables exporters to gain access to export incentives when it’s available.

Final Invoice

This is also issued by the exporter. It shows the actual value of the goods exported in the currency of transaction for the purpose of payment by the importer

Goods Movement Documents

This is the stage where you have the highest number of documents because this stage deals with all aspects of the delivery of the goods from the seller in Nigeria to the buyer in the receiving country which are:

  • Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI)
  • Certificate of Weight and Quality
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Bill of Lading
  • Air Way Bill
  • Road Transport Bill
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Goods Movement DocumentsIssuerSignificance
Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI)Pre-Shipment Inspection Agencies (PIAs) appointed by FGThe CCI certifies the quality, quantity, and price competitiveness of the exports
Certificate of Weight and QualityIndependent quality assessors like Bureau Veritas and SGSThis document clearly states the quality of the products and goods to be exported to ensure that they meet the standards as stated in the contract of agreement
Certificate of OriginNational Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA)It shows the origin of goods like trade agreement benefits
Bill of LadingShipping agenciesAlso known as a shipping document, it outlines the details of goods transported by sea
Air Way BillAirlines eg DHLIt shows the details of goods transported by air
Road Transport BillLogistics companies eg freight companiesIt shows the details of goods transported by road

Quality Assurance Documents

The goods to be exported must conform to safety measures as stated by international conventions, as such, the exported products must be certified by the Quality Competent Authority (QCAs) globally recognised.

Some of the international recognised bodies that issue quality assurance documents in Nigeria include:

  • Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS),
  • National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) if it’s drug or food-related products;
  • if it’s animal products, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services (DVPCS) etc.

The importance of using internationally recognised QCAs are:

1) it gives the international buyer the assurance meets the prescribed standard,

2) it gives the buyer the assurance that the goods meet the health standard.

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So, you are done with documentation, to think that it’s easy as outlined in this guide would be erroneous. There are several challenges you are most likely to encounter. Some of them are:

  • Bureaucracy during application for quality checks on the products to be exported
  • Customs and taxes
  • Difficulty in finding reliable suppliers
  • Logistics costs
  • Issue of meeting international standards
  • Problem of documentation
  • Unstable government policies due to change of power and poor continuity of policies

Advice to exporters:

You must take the logistics and documentation process seriously because they can make or mar an international export business.

Corroborating the above advice, the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo, in 2021 workshops on non-oil export logistics Kano and Lagos tagged “Non-oil export logistics” said “You have a good product but have not documented it well, not only will you lose money, but the products will be seized by the customs or destroyed.

“Your product may be wonderful, you might have a good contract, but if the products do not get to their final destination with the appropriate documents, you might not get a deal for your export and this is why we have come to change the narratives,” Director, Trade Information, NEPC, Mrs. Evelyn Obidike, who represented Mr Awolowo stated.


From the aforementioned key documents, it’s imperative to note you will need 19 documents in total to export any product from Nigeria to any part of the world. They are:

  1. Certificate of Incorporation
  2. Certified True Copy of Memorandum and Articles of Association
  3. Current Certified True Copy of Company registration
  4. Form CAC 7
  5. An export licence issued NEPC
  6. export contract
  7. Porforma Invoice
  8. Commercial invoice
  9. Packing list
  10. NXP form
  11. Final Invoice
  12. Commercial Invoice
  13. Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI)
  14. Certificate of Weight and Quality
  15. Certificate of Origin
  16. Bill of Lading
  17. Air Way Bill
  18. Road Transport Bill
  19. Quality Assurance Documents by QCAs

Above all, you can use this guide to export any agricultural produce to the USA, Canada, and other top importers of no-oil products around the world.

Featured Photo Credit:

  • By Chuttersnap On Unsplash

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