Requirements for the Importation of Petroleum Products in Nigeria.

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Requirements for the Importation of Petroleum Products in Nigeria.

Requirements for the Importation of Petroleum Products in Nigeria. Daily Law Tips (Tip 789) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LL.M, ACIArb(UK)

 Introduction:

Petroleum products are highly regulated in Nigeria. Unless there is a valid license from the Federal Government of Nigeria, no person can trade or deal on petroleum products in any part of Nigeria. Nigeria’s economy depends on petroleum and the President of Nigeria is the senior Minister of Petroleum. 

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is a federal agency that regulates the business of dealing on petroleum products in any part of Nigeria, including its importation or exportation. The DPR has a guideline on how to obtain license for the importation of petroleum products into any part of Nigeria. DPR’s guidelines are mandatory and there is a federal law that criminalizes any dealing on petroleum without license (including, to deal, package, hawk, sell or trade on petroleum or petroleum products) and makes it punishable with life imprisonment. 

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Below is a checklist showing the requirement for the importation of petroleum products into any part of Nigeria, as provided by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in its “Guideline for the Importation of Petroleum Products into Nigeria, 2020”. It covers the conditions for the issuance of the Petroleum Products Importation Permit and the Administration of Vessel Arrival Notification and Cargo Discharge at Jetties.

     1. Eligibility:

1.1. All companies duly registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission as providers of goods and services in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas Industry are eligible to apply for Import Permit of Petroleum Products subject to having access to appropriate Storage Facilities which could be owned or leased from third parties. 

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2.Application Method    

2.1. Application for Import Permit shall be made through the designated online portal at impex.dpr.gov.ng or from the DPR official website at www.dpr.gov.ng. 

3. Application Documents 

3.1. The following documents shall be uploaded with the application at the online portal: 

a. A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the applicant’s company. 

b. A copy of the company Article and Memorandum of Association. 

c. A Copy of the current Storage/Sales license issued by the DPR (where applicable). 

d. A Bank reference with committed and explicit statements. 

e. Tax Identification Number. 

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4. Fees 

4.1 The following fees payable in respect of an application for import permit shall be made through the applicable electronic payment system on the portal: 

a. An application fee of Seventy-Five Thousand Naira only (N75,000.00 / 30 MT) . 

b. Processing fee of Two Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira only (N210, 000. 00/Application). 

The processes for making these payments are fully described on the portal. 

The following fees payable in respect of an application for import permit shall be made through the applicable electronic payment system on the portal: 

i. An application fee of Seventy-Five Thousand Naira only (N75,000.00 / 30 MT) . 

ii. Processing fee of Two Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira only (N210, 000. 00/ 

Application). The processes for making these payments are fully described on the portal. 

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    5. Special Notice On Application For Petroleum Product Import Permit 

a. All documents submitted online would be verified and if found acceptable a permit will be issued to the applicant. 

b. Every Import Permit shall have a duration of 90 days from the date of issue. 

c. For every new application for a permit, the permit granted to a company for a previous importation would be recertified. 

d. All imported Petroleum Products must meet the National Quality Standard specifications as approved by DPR. 

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e. Each importer of petroleum products shall be required to submit returns on the previous importation for which permit was issued, upload copies of all relevant invoices and shipping documents, before any subsequent application for an Import Permit to be approved. 

f. Such documents to be uploaded on the portal shall include: 

    * Relevant Invoices. 

    * Bill of Lading. 

    * Photocopy of Approved Form “M”. 

    * Clearance or Import duty payment from Nigeria Customs & Excise. 

    * Import Clearance Form duly certified by DPR representative at the jetty. 

    * Detail cargo information, such as direct shipment, ship-to-ship, name of mother vessel, certificate of quality, last port of call etc.

    * A copy of the “Certificate of Quantity” and “Certificate of Quality” of previous imported and delivered products duly authenticated by DPR (to be made available (for renewal of import permit)). 

    * Evidence of utilization of the quantity of products for which import permit was previously granted. 

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6. Vessel Arrival Notification 

6.1 Clearance of vessels for discharge at receiving facilities shall be duly implemented upon the importer notifying the Department at least 7 days prior to the arrival of the vessel at a Nigerian Port and providing the following documents at the designated online portal: 

a. There is an evidence of import permit for the product. 

b. The imported product has been fiscalised in the presence of a DPR official. 

c. A re-certification analysis of the product composite sample is conducted in the presence of a DPR official and the result certified on- spec. A Vessel shall therefore not Discharge until the Laboratory Re-certification of a Product is conducted. 

d. Documents received from the vessel are not in conflict with those earlier uploaded by importer of the product 

e. A Certificate of Quantity will be issued by the DPR representative that witnessed the discharge based on the shore tank receipts from the vessel. 

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7. Product Certification For Forex Returns  

7.1 For product certification to importers that utilized CBN funded FOREX, the following documents must be submitted on online for processing of product discharge certification letter to CBN. 

a. Copy of import permit used for the cargo 

b. Bill of lading (Mother/Daughter Vessel) 

c. Certificate of Quantity (Mother/Daughter Vessels) 

d. Certificate of Quality 

e. Letter from financing bank (addressed to DPR) 

f. Copy of Form M 

g. Invoices (Proforma & Commercial) 

h. Letter from Supplier (Addressed to DPR) 

i. Sovereign Debt Guarantee(SDG) 

j. Vessel Report/clearance form (Issued by DPR) 

k. Certificate of Quantity issued by DPR at discharge point 

l. Returns on product importation for which permit was granted, including DPR endorsed copies of trucking records and bank records of collections. 

m. Documents would be verified and if found satisfactory, a Product certification letter will be issued. 

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8. Miscellaneous: 

8.1 An importer shall be charged an expeditionary fee of One Hundred & Sixty-Five Thousand only (N165, 000:00) upon any variation of Vessel arrival from the approved Vessel Arrival Date Scheduled with the Department of Petroleum Resources.

8.2 The Director of Department of Petroleum Resources shall propose an appropriate Administrative fee for payment by an importer for the breach of any Provisions of these Guidelines. 

Conclusion: 

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The license of DPR is needed before any importation of any petroleum product can be perfected in Nigeria. Petroleum Products Importation Permit are compulsory for all importers of petroleum products in Nigeria. The DPR is also in charge of the Administration of Vessel Arrival Notification and Cargo Discharge at Jetties. To deal, package, hawk, sell or trade on petroleum or petroleum products without a valid license from DPR is a criminal offence (felony) and it punishable with life imprisonment. The above checklist is important for Petroleum Products Importation Permit and the Administration of Vessel Arrival Notification and Cargo Discharge at Jetties in any part of Nigeria. 

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My authorities, are:

1. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,  318 and 319 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

2. Section 1, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 16 of the Petroleum Act, 1969

3. Section 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

4. Guideline for the Importation of Petroleum Products into Nigeria, 2020.

5. Onyekachi Umah, “Requirements for Filling/Fuel Stations in Nigeria” (LearnNigerianLaws.com, 24 April 2021) <https://learnnigerianlaws.com/requirements-for-filling-fuel-stations-in-nigeria/> accused 5 May 2021

6. Onyekachi Umah, “Punishment for Illegal Dealing on Petroleum Products” (LearnNigerianLaws.com, 8 February 2018) <https://learnnigerianlaws.com/punishment-for-illegal-dealing-on-petroleum-products/> accessed 23 April 2021

7. Onyekachi Umah, “Punishment for Price Increment during COVID-19 Lockdown in Lagos State” (LearnNigerianLaws.com, 13 April 2020) <https://learnnigerianlaws.com/punishment-for-price-increment-during-covid-19-lockdown-in-lagos-state/> accessed 23 April 2021

8. Pic Credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/oil-rig-gm155032097-21901126

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