Nigeria Customs List of Banned Imported Goods in Nigeria

Nigeria Customs List of Banned Imported Goods in Nigeria

with 4 Comments

I just finished reading an article on ChannelsTV’s blog that the Nigeria Customs Service impounded contraband goods worth N250 million naira!

The list of goods that were seized by Nigeria Customs includes:

  • Fake Human And Veterinary Drugs,
  • Vehicles,
  • Second Hand Clothing,
  • Expired Vehicle Tyres,
  • Furniture, and
  • Bags of Rice.

That is a whooping N250 million naira Lost!!!

It seems like with importation in Nigeria, “sh*t happens” more often than it doesn’t.

For an experienced importer like I am, we get used to it.  Things go wrong, we just hope for the best, plan for the worst, and we learn to recover from it gracefully and move on.

But for someone new to the import and export business, these little “glitches” that we just laugh off can be devastating.  This is mostly because new importers lack the experience to know whether it’s just one of those things, or something they did wrong.

Well, the good news is, I’ve finally created a list of banned items/goods that will provide the new importer with information on what is considered contraband by the Nigerian Customs Service.

List of Prohibited Goods by Nigeria Customs:

  1. Air Pistols
  2. Implements appertaining to the reloading of cartridges.
  3. Matches made with white phosphorous.
  4. Materials of any description with a design which, considering the purpose for which any such material is intended to be used, is likely in the opinion of the president to create a breach of the peace or to offend the religious views of any class of persons in Nigeria.
  5. Pistols disguised in any form.
  6. Beads composed of inflammable celluloid or other similar substances.
  7. Nuclear Industrial waste and other Toxic waste
  8. Weapons of any description which in the opinion of the Comptroller-General are designed for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other similar substance and any ammunition containing or in the opinion of the Comptroller- General or adapted to contain any noxious liquid, gas or other similar substances.


  1. Silver or metal alloy coins not being legal tender in Nigeria.
  2. All counterfeit/pirated materials or articles including Base or Counterfeit Coin of any Country.


  1. Meat, Vegetables or other provisions declared by a health officer to be unfit for human consumption.
  2. Live or Dead Birds including Frozen
  3. Pork, Beef
  4. Birds Eggs.
  5. Cassava
  6. Refined Vegetable Oils and Fats [but excluding Linseed, Castor and Olive oils. Crude vegetable oil are however NOT banned from importation].
  7. Spaghetti/Noodles
  8. Fruit Juice in Retail Packs
  9. Waters, including Mineral Waters and Aerated Waters containing added Sugar or Sweetening Matter or Flavoured and other non-alcoholic beverages. [But excluding energy or Health Drinks {Liquid Dietary Supplements} e.g. Power Horse, Red Ginseng etc] and Beer and Stout (Bottled, Canned or Otherwise packed).
  10. Exhausted tea or tea mixed with other substances. For the purposes of this item, “exhausted tea” means any tea which has been deprived of its proper quality, strength, or virtue by steeping, infusion, decoction or other means.


  1. Spirits: Other than Alcoholic bitters, liqueurs, cordials and mixtures admitted as such inhis discretion by the Comptroller-General and which are not deemed to beinjurious spirits within the meaning of any enactment or law relating toliquor or liquor licensing.
  2. Brandy, i.e. a Spirit Distilled in Grape-growing countries from fermented grape juice and from no other materials and Stored in wood for a period of three years.
  3. Gin, i.e. Spirit- Produced by distillation from a mixed mash of cereal grains only saccharified by the diastase of malt and the Flavoured by predistillation with juniper berries and other vegetable ingredients and of a brand which has been notified as an approved brand by notice in the Gazette and in containers labelled with the name and address of the owner of the brand; or Produced by distillation at least three times in a pot-still from mixed mash or barley, rye and maize saccharified by diastase of malt – and then rectified by re-distillation in a postil after the addition of juniper berries and other vegetable materials.
  4. Whisky, i.e. a Spirit- Obtained by distillation from a mash or cereal grains saccharified by diastase of malt; and Stored in wood for a period of three years. Containing more than forty-eight and one-half per centum of pure alcohol by volume except denatured, medicated and perfumed spirits, and such other spirits which the Comptroller-General, in his discretion, may allow to be imported subject to such conditions as he may see fit to
  5. Rum i.e. a Spirit – Distilled direct from sugar-cane products in sugar-cane growing countries; and stored in wood for a period of three


  1. Bagged Cement.


  1. Drugs and medicinal spirits admitted as such in his discretion by the Comptroller-General. Spirits imported for medical or scientific purposes: Methylated or denatured spirit, i.e. Mineralized Methylated spirit mixed as follows: To every ninety parts by volume of spirits nine and one-half parts by volume of wood naphtha and one-half of one part by volume of crude pyridine and to every 455 litres of the mixture 1.7 litres of mineral naphtha or petroleum oil and not less than 0.7 grammes by weight of powdered aniline dye (Methyl violet) and so in proportion for any quantity less than 455 litres; and Industrial Methylated spirit imported under license from the Comptroller-General and mixed as follows: To every ninety-five parts by volume of spirits five parts by volume of wood naphtha and also one-half of one part by volume of the mixture; and Spirits denatured for a particular purpose in such manner as the Comptroller-General in any special circumstance may permit;
  2. Perfumed Spirits
  3. Paracetamol Tablets and Syrups
  4. Cotrimoxazole Tablets Syrups
  5. Metronidazole Tablets and Syrups
  6. Chloroquine Tablets and Syrups
  7. Haematinic Formulations; Ferrous Sulphate and Ferrous Gluconate.
  8. Tablets, Folic Acid Tablets, Vitamin B Complex Tablet [except modified released formulations].
  9. Multivitamin Tablets, capsules and Syrups [except special formulations].
  10. Aspirin Tablets [except modified released formulation and soluble aspirin].
  11. Magnesium trisilicate tablets and suspensions.
  12. Piperazine tablets and Syrups
  13. Levamisole Tablets and Syrups
  14. Ointments – Penecilin/Gentamycin
  15. Pyrantel Pamoate tablets and Syrups
  16. Intravenous Fluids [Dextrose, Normal Saline, etc.]
  17. Waste Pharmaceuticals
  18. Soaps and Detergents in retail packs
  19. Mosquito Repellant Coils
  20. Sanitary Wares of Plastics and Domestic Articles and Wares of Plastics [but excluding Baby Feeding bottles and flushing cistern and waterless loose
  21. Corrugated Paper and Paper Boards, and cartons, boxes and cases made from corrugated paper and paper boards, Toilet paper, Cleaning or facial tissue (excluding baby diapers and incotinent pads for adult use).
  22. Toothpicks


  1. Rethreaded and used Pneumatic tyres but excluding used trucks tyres for rethreading of sized 11.00 x 20 and above 4012.2010.00.


  1. Telephone Re-charge Cards and Vouchers – H.S. Code 4911.9900.91
  2. Ball Point Pens – H.S. Code 9608.1000 and parts including refills (excluding tip).
  3. Airmail Photographic Printing Paper.
  4. Blank invoices.
  5. Coupons for Foreign Football pools or other betting arrangements.
  6. Indecent or obscene prints, painting, books, cards, engraving or any indecent or obscene articles.


  1. Second-hand clothing.
  2. African print [Printed Fabrics] e.g. Nigeria wax, Hollandaise, English Wax, Ankara and similar Fabrics.
  3. Lace Fabrics and other embroided Fabrics
  4. Carpets and Rugs of all types falling under H.S. Codes 5701.1000 – 0000.
  5. Piece goods and all other textiles including wearing apparel, hardware of all kinds’ crockery and china or earthenware goods bearing inscriptions (whether in Roman or Arabic characters) from the Koran or from the traditions and commentaries on the Koran.
  6. Made-up Garments and other Textile articles but excluding the following:
  7. Made-up lining articles
  8. Insecticides treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and (LLTNs) H
  • Moulding cup Lycra
  1. Mutilated rags
  2. Jute Bags
  3. Brazziers, pants, ties.
  1. All types of Foot Wears and Bags including Suitcases of leather and plastics [but excluding Safety Shoes used in oil industries, Hospitals, Firefighting and Factories, Sports Shoes, canvass shoes all Completely Knocked Down (CKD) blanks and parts]


  1. Hollow Glass Bottles of a capacity exceeding 150mls (0.15 litres) of a kind used for packaging of beverages by breweries and other beverage and drink companies.


  1. Used Compressors
  2. Used Air Conditioners and Used Fridges/Freezers.


  1. Used Motor Vehicles above fifteen (10) years from the year of manufacture


  1. Furniture, but excluding Baby walkers, laboratory cabinets such as microscope table, fume cupboards, laboratory benches (9403), Stadium Chairs, height adjustments device, base sledge, seat frames and control mechanism, arm guide and headguides. Also excluded are; skeletal parts of furniture such as blanks, unholstered or unfinished part of metal, plastics, veneer, chair shell etc. Also excluded are Motor Vehicle seats (9401.2000.00) and Seats other than garden seats or camping equipment, convertible into beds (9401.4000.00).

More Information:

Import Prohibition List – Nigeria Customs Administration

I hope this blog post guides you in making the right decisions when importing goods into Nigeria.

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4 Responses

  1. Jay

    Hello Chibuike. Thanks for the piece of information. Very informative. The show ban is a little confusing, Can you expand on which one are allowed into the country and the one not allowed?

  2. Calliking

    Hello Chibyke, thanks for this handful of information. As you rightly said it could be a big blow to new importers and intending importers like myself. Kindly explain further what the term “Exhausted tea or tea mixed with other substances”. This will reallyhelp clear a lot of doubts there.
    Thanks a lot

  3. kaz


    I’m in the process of importing slaughter Cow meet directly from the abattoir in Chad to 9ja. The products (fresh meat) will then be hanged-up on a cool refregerator cargo flight to meet the storage temperature, pls check the abattoir picture from NAGARI GROUP:

    Please, inform me if this is not one of the prohibited goods and if its possible.


  4. barry friedman

    Can laptops be imported? How much tax for $100 laptop?

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