A company can apply for an importation permit where it has the appropriate legal status and is competent to carry on a business in the oil and gas industry.
The guideline for the importation of petroleum is provided pursuant to Paragraph 4(1) of the 4th schedule to the Petroleum Act CAP P10 L.F.N 2004. It defines the regulatory requirements for the issuance of Petroleum Products Importation Permit. All imported petroleum products must meet the National Quality Standard specifications approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
To be eligible for the application of the import permit of petroleum products, the company must be duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as providers of goods and services in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. This permit is given to the company subject to it having an appropriate storage facility. An import permit has a duration date of 90 days from the date of issuance.
How to Apply for the Importation Permit under DPR
- A company looking to import petroleum resources should begin by an application made through the designated portal of the Department of Petroleum Resources official website at dpr.gov.ng
- Upon application the following documents should be attached:
- A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the company
- A copy of the memorandum and article of association
- A copy of the current storage facility
- Tax identification number
- A bank reference/ statement
- The applicant will then proceed to pay the following fees for application:
- An application fee of N75, 000 (Seventy-Five Thousand Naira)
- A processing fee of N210,00 (Two Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira)
- All the online submitted documents will be verified and if acceptable then a permit will be issued
- For an importer who has been issued a previous import permit, such importer would be required to submit returns on the system on which previous import permit was granted, with uploaded copies of all relevant invoices and shipping documents such as Bill of Lading, photocopy of approved Form M, clearance or import duty payment, detail cargo information etc before subsequent application for import permit can be approved.
Thus, any company that meets the above guidelines as provided by the Department of Petroleum Resources can submit an application for Petroleum Product Import Permit after creating an account on the Import-Export Permit System (IMPEX). The IMPEX portal handles electronic application processing and generation of permits for eligible countries in respect of petroleum products supply within and outside the country.
Upon fulfilling those conditions, the applicant will also do the following:
- The applicant will log in to the online account on the IMPEX Portal and click on the application engine.
- Upon that, the applicant will click on the create application engine to display the application form.
- Add the products to the application, as many products to be required, as long as each product meets the application to be processed.
- Select the bank and the preferred means of payment and proceed to payment using the payment channels available. The bank will upload their reference letter or any financial document to support the application for the permit.
- Upon that the applicant can then submit the application for processing
- The applicant will be notified on the portal with the contact details provided whether the application is approved, denied or rejected.
- There would be a clearance of vessel for discharge that will be implemented by the importer notifying the DPR at least 7 days before a vessel arrives at the Nigerian Port, and the following documents will be required for the clearance of every vessel:
- Copy of certificate of quantity
- Certificate of the quality of consignment issued by a competent authority in the country of origin.
- Copy of Form M
- Copy of cargo manifest
- Copies of all relevant invoices
- Letter from the bank attesting to the transaction
- An importer shall pay the vessel notification fee of two hundred and twenty thousand Naira only (N220, 000.00), paid to the department of petroleum resources on the petroleum product import electronic portal of the department.
These guidelines and regulations by the DPR help to ensure the smooth running and safe operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Meanwhile, it is worth to mention that any company that operates in the oil and gas sector without a permit is in contravention of the provisions of the law. And as such the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources shall propose an appropriate fee for payment to any importer who breaches the provisions of these guidelines.
Written by the Oil & Gas Law Department at Resolution Law Firm, Nigeria