It will become mandatory for all inbound cargo destined to Nigeria to be palletized.
The mandatory palletization will be effective for cargo under Form M* issued after January 1, 2018 and where cargo is under Form M from prior January 1, 2018, the rule will only be enforced for cargo arriving on/or after March 31, 2018.
Exceptions for cargo types that do not need palletization:
By Weight: Any single item weighing more than 1000 kg.
By Mobility: Any item that can be “rolled” out of the container e.g. a Car.
By Packing of Container: If the stuffing allows a person to walk inside the container to inspect the goods.
By Fragility: Any item that is deemed to be too fragile and not suitable for off-loading. This would be certain specialized equipment.
Form M must be mentioned on the manifest and on the Bill of Lading.
“Diplomatic goods” must be declared on the manifest and Bill of Lading.
Any cargo under “Fast Track” to be declared on the manifest and Bill of Lading.
Failing to adhere to the regulations may result in fines being issued by the authorities in Nigeria or refusal to accept cargo onto Nigerian soil. For cargo imported without palletization, any sanctions imposed will be for account of the importer.
In such cases, as all units are stuffed under Shipper Load, stow and count, any additional charges will be for the account of the cargo, including the repatriation of cargo to origin.
*An e-Form M is a mandatory documentation process put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to monitor goods that are imported into the country as well as enable collection of import duties where applicable.