Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wood Export: The Federal Government Finally Has Defined The Term "Processed Wood"

The federal government has finally cleared the air on the controversial issue regarding export prohibition on the website of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). This was made know to the public the representative of the (NCS) at an interactive session on non-oil export organized by the NEXIM Bank in conjunction with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

The NCS has for a long time stipulated on its website that one of the items prohibited for export in Nigeria is Timber (rough or sawn). This has become very controversial because the term "processed wood" was not clearly defined. This has made many banks to reject the request to process pre-export documentation for wood. The wood exporters also face a challenge with the customs because they choose not to use NXPs for their shipment since the bank failed to process the document.

The representative of the NCS stated that the Honourable Minister in charge of the federal ministry of environment now issues an approval called "letter of support" that defines the specification/ dimension of processed wood and therefore enables the NCS to allow the products to be cleared for exportation of out of Nigeria. He went ahead to display the approval which states that:
1. The permit allowed the exportation of 15,000 CBM of processed wood
2. The specification of a processed wood include:
     A. Length- 280mm to 3,600mm
     B. Width- 35mm to 350mm
     C. Thickness- 6mm to 150mm
3. The approval is valid for a period of 12months and the product must undergo full machine process
4. The product shall be inspected by the wood inspectorate unit of the department of pre-shipment inspection in the ministry
5. The records of export are to be made available to the of the ministry at the port

This should finally laid to rest the concerns of the commercial banks in Nigeria on the issue of processing NXP for processed or semi-processed wood. The bank can also go ahead to ask the exporter to provide this approval as part of the pre-export documentations.
A copy of the approval from the federal ministry of environment has been attached below for the review of our esteemed readers.

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