NESREA Annual Environmental Import Clearance

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has responsibility to enforce all environmental laws, guidelines, policies, standards and regulations in Nigeria; and to prohibit processes and the use of equipment or technology that undermine environmental quality. It also has the responsibility to enforce compliance with provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on the environment to which Nigeria is a signatory.

NESREA is also mandated to enforce compliance with regulations on the importation, exportation, production, distribution, storage, sale, use handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals and waste other than in the oil and gas industry. In line with this, the Agency is regulating the importation of banned and restricted chemicals and other hazardous chemical substances, as well as some designated items and equipment. This is being implemented by, among others, the issuance of Environmental Import Clearance. Items and products regulated by NESREA under the Environmental Impact Clearance regime are categorized into five broad groups:

  1. Chemicals;
  2. Electrical/Electronic Equipment;
  3. Small and Large Industrial Equipment
  4. Motor Vehicle Auto parts; and
  5. Mixed items.

The Environmental Import Clearance regime is to ensure that banned and restricted chemicals, end-of-life electrical/ electronic equipment and hazardous wastes are not imported into the country. This is in line with the obligations under the relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) to which Nigeria is a signatory and some National Environmental Regulations. Some of the MEAs include:

  • Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1998);
  • Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent on Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (2005);
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) (2005); and
  • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1989);

The National Environmental Regulations that address issues relating to imported items include:

  • National Environmental (Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides) Regulations, 2014 S.I No 65;
  • National Environmental (Electrical and Electronics) Regulations, 2011 S.I No 22; and
  • National Environmental (Motor Vehicle & Miscellaneous Assembly) Regulations 2013 S.I 35

In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on the Ease of Doing Business to promote economic development in Nigeria, NESREA is commencing an annual environmental import clearance regime for chemicals from 1st January 2018. The annual clearance exercise is aimed at reducing the time of processing and collection of import clearance certificates and enhancing transparency and efficiency in the Nigeria business environment.

As part of the annual clearance exercise, importers are to meet the following requirements:

Annual Registration with NESREA
All importers of regulated products are to register with a registration fee of One Hundred And Fifteen Thousand (N115, 000) Naira. Registration will be renewed annually with a renewal fee of Fifty Thousand (N50, 000) Naira with the following documents:

  1. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation; and
  2. Copy of current Tax Clearance Certificate.

NESREA Annual Import Clearance (for Importers of Chemicals)
Importers wishing to import NESREA regulated items are to submit the following documents prior to the shipment of the items:

  1. Copy of Certificate of Incorporation;
  2. Proforma Invoice
  3. Copy of current Tax Clearance Certificate;
  4. Evidence of annual registration with NESREA;
  5. NAFDAC permit (chemicals for pharmaceuticals and food & beverage industries);
  6. The list of chemicals stating quantities to be imported (standard units) and the intended use (s) of the chemicals;
  7. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Transport Emergency Card for the chemicals to be imported;
  8. Evidence of registration with Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) (for pharmaceutical industries); and
  9. Evidence of membership with Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) (for food, beverage and tobacco industries)

Please note the following:

  • Annual registration is a prerequisite for obtaining environmental import clearance;
  • Any item/quantity not cleared within the year will not be carried over to the next year but treated as fresh import;
  • Where there is need to import more items/quantity after obtaining the annual clearance, a fresh application will be required;
  • Charges shall be based on certain environmental parameters such as volume and eco-toxicity;
  • A release letter will be issued for each import by the nearest NESREA field office, at no extra cost, to all those who have obtained the Annual Clearance Certificate. The quantity released will be deducted from the annual approved quantity to be imported;
  • Application for Environmental clearance for other items under categories stated in 2(ii) – 2(v) above would continue to be treated on proforma basis with submission of Copy of Certificate of Incorporation, current Tax Clearance and annual registration with NESREA.
  • Importers under the electrical and electronic sector are to present evidence of membership with Electrical Producers Responsibility Organization before issuance of environmental clearance;