Nigerian government has started preparing businesses in the country to start trading with other African countries following the successful launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by the African Union on Friday, January 1st, 2021.
A statement signed by Victor Liman, acting Director-General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), revealed steps outlined by the Federal Government to be followed by businesses who are ready to do business with countries that fall within the AFCFTA zone.
This procedure and processes as released by the government covers those who want to export to all the African countries that have signed the trade pact.
According to the government, an exporter or agent must secure all necessary licenses, permits, certificates and necessary documents from relevant agencies like Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) and others.
Secondly, such businesses must ensure that their products qualify for export under AfCFTA; additionally, businesses must create a bill of entry, attach all relevant permits from government agencies and secure reservation with shipping or Airline Company, apply for Nigeria Customs Service AfCFTA Certificate of Origin after paying a fee.
Business owners have also been informed that, the Nigerian Customs Service is the issuer of the certificate, however, NACCIMA must vet the application; finally businesses are make sure that, other accompanying documents required for shipment under AfCFTA should be included. This covers documents such as, Certificate of origin, Nigerian Customs Bill of Entry, Bill of Lading, Packing list, and Certificate of Analysis.
The government also added that, all businesses must have the following compulsory AfCFTA trading documents: Supplier/Producer’s declaration form, Origin of declaration form, AfCFTA Certificate of origin.
The trade pact as successfully launched will cover a market of about 1.2 billion people, with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $3 trillion. The trade zone is also considered world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization.