The Federal Government has outlined steps to be taken by Nigerian businesses to export to other African countries that are part of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This follows the take-off of the trade agreement, which is reputed to be one of the largest globally, on January 1, 2021, with 54 African countries signed on to it.
This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by the Nigerian Office For Trade Negotiations (NOTN) and signed by its Acting Director-General/Chief Trade Negotiator, Victor Liman.
The guide by NOTN is to assist Nigerian exporters who want to take advantage of AfCFTA.
Steps to be taken by exporters
- 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.
- Ensure that the product qualifies for export under AfCFTA.
- Next, 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.
- The Nigerian Customs Service is the issuer of the certificate, however, NACCIMA must vet the application.
- Also, other accompanying documents required for shipment under AfCFTA should be included like Certificate of origin, Nigerian Customs Bill of Entry, Bill of Lading, Packing list, and Certificate of Analysis.
Finally, compulsory AfCFTA trading documents are
- Supplier/Producer’s declaration form.
- Origin of declaration form.
- AfCFTA Certificate of origin.
What you should know
- The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which took off in January 1, 2021, is expected to create the world’s largest free trade area measured by the number of countries participating.
- The pact which connects about 1.3 billion people across 54 countries with a gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $3.4 trillion, has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty. However, achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures.
- The scope of AfCFTA is large as the agreement will reduce tariffs among member countries and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of AfCFTA would reshape markets and economies across the region and boost output in the services, manufacturing and natural resources sectors.