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    How To Ship Machinery to Nigeria Quickly, Safely and At Minimal Cost
    Updated On: 16 Feb 2023 | 940 Views

    How To Ship Machinery to Nigeria Quickly, Safely and At Minimal Cost

    Machinery represents the second biggest imports into Nigeria, only after Mineral Fuels and oils. It’s however surprising that though machinery and several forms of equipment are constantly imported into the country by diverse industries of various sizes, this category of imports remains one of the most problematic for importers to clear at the destination ports in Nigeria. Issues relating to clearing this category of imports can vary from minor to significant to complicated.

    Over the years, I have realised that some of these problems are needless if only importers – and in many cases – freight and clearing agents pay due attention to certain simple but important factors in pre-shipment, during shipment and while clearing the items of machinery and equipment.

    Highlighted below are 6 factors recommended by experts to support you ship machinery to Nigeria quickly, safely and at minimal cost. 

    ·         Have a sound knowledge of the product you’re importing.

    ·         Engage a professional and experienced freight forwarder.

    ·         Establish clear and reasonable agreement with the machinery supplier.

    ·         Develop a realistic shipping budget.

    ·         Plan for the arrival of your shipment.

    ·         Learn from every shipment experience.

    The factors that will support you to quickly, safely ship machinery and equipment to Nigeria at minimal cost are explained below;

    1. Have a sound knowledge of the product you’re importing

    First, having sound product knowledge of the equipment and machinery you intend to import is of utmost importance. I have deliberately used sound knowledge here because machinery and equipment are technical products which have been designed and developed to serve specific purposes. Their technical specifications, operations procedures and what they are made of usually have; export regulation requirements at the origin; packaging requirements, freight regulations and local clearing regulations.

    Whether you are shipping an MRI Scanning machine, Equipment with Lithium Batteries, Construction Equipment, Agricultural Machinery and Tools or Food Processing machines, it’s advisable to know in very clear terms the details of the item both for easy freighting and ache-free local clearing.

    It is a big error for an importer to be unmindful of all these details as such ignorance may mar important factors of speed and cost of freight and clearing. For instance, not having a clear understanding of who and which agencies of government are likely to control your imported machine at the border may lead to waste of time and resources. Required statutory import documents vary from machines to machines. While some machines will require Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to be allowed for international transportation, others may require such documents as “End user Certificate” at the destination.

    Getting professional advice beforehand both on the technical side and on the side of freight forwarding and local customs clearing may save you a fortune and valuable time.

    ALSO READ: Document Required When Shipping Goods to Nigeria- Guide to Importation.

    2.      Engage a professional and experienced freight forwarder

    As an importer, when you have an efficient and professional freight forwarder handling your shipment, your worries on shipping cost, speed and safety of your shipment are significantly reduced.

    Your freight forwarder is an agent within the logistics network who arranges the shipments of your machinery and equipment from the origin country/port down to Nigeria. They engage with the carriers and ensure that your shipment is safely delivered to the destination port. They have expertise in international trade advisory which includes supporting you in Customs HS code classification of the machine being imported, packaging type that will safeguard the delivery of the machine, helps you in identifying appropriate shipping mode, negotiating with air/ship lines for best freight rate, handling at both port of origin and destination, interfacing with local customs, and trucking to final facility.

    To choose a good forwarding agent, ask/check for their partnerships/affiliations in the country you’re importing from, and their past forwarding experience from that country. Also, and check for how organized and efficient they are in their general operations.

    As much as possible, let your freight forwarders undertake the local customs clearance of your shipment. Since they have been involved in the shipping of the machines/equipment from the origin, they’ll by now have a good understanding of the history of the shipment and are able to better represent and defend the shipment with the local regulatory agencies.

    3. Establish clear and reasonable agreement with the machinery supplier

    Bind the transaction with reasonable agreements/contract documents. Be absolutely sure of the terms that your supplier and you are speaking the same INCOTERMS language. While most pro-forma invoices and final invoices for machinery and equipment are stated as FOB (Free On Board) and C.I.F (Cost, Insurance and Freight), some invoices –especially for smaller items of equipment and machines are stated Ex-works in which case you may need to arrange for pick-up from the manufacturer yourself. Each of these international trade terms will have implications on your budget, so you really need to be very sure. Check for better knowledge of INCOTERMS here.

    4.      Develop a realistic shipping budget

    Cost of imported machinery into Nigeria could be capital intensive. And shipping costs of that piece of machinery - as an integral part of the total cost - can sometimes be substantial. Shipping budget for medical equipment like MRI machines defer from that of mining, juice / soft drink manufacturing, agricultural, oil & gas or any other machinery.

    Depending on your agreement with the manufacturer or supplier of the machines, your shipping cost may include:

    a) cost of packaging/safe-storage of the machine/equipment after manufacturing

    b) cost of pick-up from the manufacturer/supplier to the port of loading and/or

    c) other ancillary safe-handling costs while being transported to the port

    Some of these machines may be classified as “dangerous goods”, meaning the cost of freighting them may be higher than normal and special attention may be required for them from all stakeholders within the shipping and delivery value chain. For free pre-shipment consultation, call +2348032241768.

    5. Plan for the arrival of your shipment

     Machinery shipping and delivery requires proper planning. Plan with your freight agent, your in-house logistics representative(s) to ensure efficient release and take delivery at the port of discharge. You will need to make arrangements for proper handling equipment, and inland transportation that support safe and cost effective delivery of the machine being imported.

    6.    Learn from every shipment experience

    The same way a researcher will recommend further study at the conclusion of a research work, so also, we recommend importers generally – and more so – importers of machinery to always learn from previous deliveries.

    Every importation has its own peculiarities. Not closing your eyes on those hitches experienced during the last import will help you gain more insights into the procedures and how to adjust your plans the next time.

    ALSO READ: 41 Commodities NOT Valid for Forex 

    Other Considerations When Shipping Machineries to Nigeria

    Regulatory Agencies

    Depending on the type of machines, some machines are controlled by the standard organization of Nigeria, like MRI machine, while others may require import permits from the government MDAs like defense, finance etc.

    Understand the HS Codes for Machineries being imported

    Majority of machines being imported will be treated under the customs tariff, Chapter 84.  

    Where do Nigeria’s Machinery Imports come from?

    Valuehandlers is delivering quality freight shipping services to Nigerian machinery importers from places such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, USA, Canada, India, Belgium, Singapore, Netherlands, South Africa, Indonesia, Portugal, Denmark, United Kingdom, Poland, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, UAE - Dubai.

    Valuehandlers has over the past 10 years shipped and delivered various types of machinery of diverse capacities from the above-named countries. These include:

     Industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens        

     Agricultural, horticultural or forestry machinery

     Construction equipment

     Harvesting or threshing machines

     Presses and crushers

     Printing machinery

     Knitting machines

     Vending equipment

     Equipment with Lithium Batteries

     Sewing Machine

     Milling Machine

     Scanning Machines, including MRI and MRI Helium gas

     Cleaning Machines

    ALSO READ: Needed Document When Shipping or importing to Nigeria

    About the Blogger: Adetayo George-Adewoye is a freight broker and logistics professional. 

    Adetayo introduced pre-shipment consulting services into the shipping industry in 2012. He has offered high-level consulting services to Medical/Pharmaceutical, Oil and Gas, Agricultural Sector, Mining, and Construction industries. Adetayo George-Adewoye is an award winner in the field of logistics, a member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lions Club International and Freight Net Logistics Network.

    12, Joseph Odunlami Street, Off Thomas Salako Street, Ogba Bus Stop, Ikeja, Lagos