UPDATED: 45 items you should never import into Nigeria – See their HS Codes

There are very important trade restrictions you should always pay attention to or update yourself with if your business is centered on importation. Knowing these trade restrictions will save you a lot of trouble especially in the hands of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)  which is the No. 1 government agency with  the sole responsibility of enforcing, or assisting in the enforcement of, a wide range of import and export prohibitions and restrictions on behalf of a number of government agencies including the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).

These trade restrictions as regularly updated by the NCS takes the form of either an absolute prohibition or a restriction on what you can import into Nigeria. These prohibitions and restrictions are not new to the system, they have been introduced over time for reasons of security, public health, environmental protection, and for maintenance of order and morality.

Mere Prohibition or Restriction: This means importation may be allowed provided you have obtained written permission, from the relevant agency, to do so. For example, pharmaceutical products not listed in Nigeria may be imported provided a written permit is obtained from NAFDAC.

Absolute Prohibition :  This simply means you are not allowed to import the goods into Nigeria under any circumstances.


    1. Live or Dead Birds including Frozen Poultry – HS Codes 0105.1100 – 0105.9900, 0106.3100 – 0106.3900, 0207.1100 – 0207.3600 and 0210.9900
    2. Pork, Beef – HS Codes 0201.1000 – 0204.5000, 0206.1000 – 0206.9000, 0210.1000 – 0210.2000
    3. Birds Eggs – HS Code 0407.0000; excluding hatching eggs
    4. Refined Vegetable Oils and Fats – HS Code 1507.1000.00 – 1516.2000.29 [but excluding refined Linseed, Castor and Olive oils. Crude vegetable oil are however NOT banned from importation]
    5. Cane or Beet Sugar and Chemically Pure Sucrose, in solid form containing added flavouring or colouring matter – HS Code 1701.91.1000 – 1701.99.9000 in retail packs
    6. Cocoa Butter, Powder and Cakes – HS Codes 1802.00.0000 – 1803.20000, 1805.001000 – 1805.00.9000, 1806.10.0000 – 1806.20.0000 and 1804.00.0000
    7. Spaghetti/ Noodles – HS Codes 1902.1100 – 1902.30.0000
    8. Fruit Juice in Retail Packs – HS Codes 2009.11.0012 – 2009.11.0013 – 2009.9000.99
    9. Waters, including Mineral Waters and Aerated Waters containing added Sugar or Sweetening Matter or Flavoured, ice snow – HS Codes 2201.1000 – 2201.90.00, other non-alcoholic beverages HS Code 2202.10.00 – 2202.9000.99 [ but excluding energy or Health Drinks {Liquid Dietary Supplements} e.g. Power Horse, Red Ginseng etc.] HS Code 2202.9000.91 and Beer and Stout (Bottled, Canned or Otherwise packed) HS Code 2203.0010.00 – 2203.0090.00
    10. Bagged Cement – HS Code 2523.2900.22
    11. Medicaments falling under Headings 3003 and 3004 as indicated below:
      • Paracetamol Tablets and Syrups
      • Cotrimoxazole Tablets Syrups
      • Metronidazole Tablets and Syrups
      • Chloroquine Tablets and Syrups
      • Haematinic Formulations; Ferrous Sulphate and Ferrous Gluconate Tablets, Folic Acid Tablets, Vitamin B Complex Tablet [except modified released formulations].
      • Multivitamin Tablets, Capsules and Syrups [except special formulations].
      • Aspirin Tablets [except modified released formulation and soluble aspirin].
      • Magnesium Trisilicate Tablets and Suspensions.
      • Piperazine Tablets and Syrups
      • Levamisole Tablets and Syrups
      • Clotrimazole Cream
      • Ointments – Penicillin/ Gentamycin
      • Pyrantel Pamoate Tablets and Syrups
      • Intravenous Fluids [Dextrose, Normal Saline, etc.]
    12. Waste Pharmaceuticals – HS Code 3006.9200
    13. Mineral or Chemical Fertilisers containing two or three of the fertilising elements nitrogen,phosphorus and potassium (NPK 15-15-15), excluding organic fertilser HS Code 3105.10.00.00 – 3105.90.00.00
    14. Soaps and Detergents – HS Code 3401.11.1000 – 3402.90.0000 (in retail packs only)
    15. Mosquito Repellant Coils – HS Code 3808.9110.91 (Mosquito Coils).
    16. Rethreaded and used Pneumatic tyres but excluding used trucks tyres for rethreading of sized 11.00 x 20 and above 4012.2010.00
    17. Corrugated Paper and Paper Boards – HS Code 4808.1000, and Cartons, Boxes and Cases made from corrugated paper and paper boards HS Code 4819.1000, Toilet Paper, Cleaning or Facial Tissue – HS Code 4818.1000 – 4818.9000 excluding baby diapers and incontinence pads for adult use 4818.4000.41 and Exercise Books – HS Code 4820.2000
    18. Telephone Re-charge Cards and Vouchers – HS Code 4911.9990.91
    19. Carpets and other Textile Floor Coverings falling under HS Code 5701.10.000 – 5705.00.0000
    20. All types of Foot Wears, Bags and Suitcases HS Codes 6401.1000.11 – 6405.9000.99 and 4202.1100.10 – 4202.9900.99 [but excluding Safety Shoes used in oil industries, Sports Shoes, canvas shoes all Completely Knocked Down (CKD) blanks and parts]
    21. Hollow Glass Bottles of a capacity exceeding 150mls (0.15 litres) of all kinds used for packaging of beverages by breweries and other beverage and drink companies – HS Code 7010.9021.29 and 7010.9031.00
    22. Used Compressors – HS Code 8414.3000, Used Air Conditioners – HS Codes 8415.1000.11 – 8415.9000.99 and Used Fridges/ Freezers – HS Codes 8418.1000.11 – 8418.69.0000
    23. Used Motor Vehicles above fifteen (15) years from the year of manufacture – HS Codes 8703.10.00 – 8703.90.0000
    24. Ball Point Pens and parts including refills (excluding tip) HS Code 9608.10.0000
    25. Tomato Paste or Concentrate put up for retail sale – 2002100000, 2002902000, 2002909000


  1. Air Pistols
  2. Airmail Photographic Printing Paper
  3. All counterfeit/ pirated materials or articles including Base or Counterfeit Coin of any Country
  4. Beads composed of inflammable celluloid or other similar substances
  5. Blank Invoices
  6. Coupons for foreign football pools or other betting arrangements
  7. Cowries
  8. 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
  9. Implements appertaining to the reloading of cartridges
  10. Indecent or obscene prints, painting, books, cards, engraving or any indecent or obscene articles
  11. Manilas
  12. Matches made with white phosphorous
  13. 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
  14. Meat, Vegetables or other provisions declared by a health officer to be unfit for human consumption
  15. 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
  16. Pistols disguised in any form
  17. Second-hand clothing
  18. Silver or metal alloy coins not being legal tender in Nigeria
  19. Nuclear Industrial waste and other Toxic waste
  20. Spirits:
    • Other than:
      • Alcoholic bitters, liqueurs, cordials and mixtures admitted as such in his discretion by the Comptroller-General and which are not deemed to be injurious spirits within the meaning of any enactment or law relating to liquor or liquor licencing
      • Brandy, i.e. 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
      • Drugs and medicinal spirits admitted as such in his discretion by the Comptroller-General ​
      • 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 redistillation 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 labeled 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 pot still after the addition of juniper berries and other vegetable materials
      • 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 licence 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 a manner as the Comptroller-General in any special circumstance may permit
      • Perfumed Spirits
      • Rum i.e. Spirit – Distilled directly from sugar-cane products in sugar-cane growing countries and
        Stored in wood for a period of three years
      • Spirits imported for medical or scientific purposes, subject to such conditions as the Comptroller-General may prescribe
      • Spirits totally unfit for use as portable spirits admitted to entry as such in the discretion by the Comptroller-General
      • Whisky, i.e. 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 Impose
    • 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


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