Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service

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The attention of NAQS Management has been drawn to reports of our officers demanding Import Permits from clients “even when they provide Phytosanitary Certificates”. This reportedly takes place mostly at PTML and Apapa ports. Thus, the need to provide some clarity on the subject-matter for the benefit of importers/exporters of agricultural products and the general public:

In simple terms, import permit is the document covering and conveying the importing country’s conditions of import - with special considerations to the Pest Risk Analysis (PRS) of the country (and region). Phytosanitary Certificate on the other hand, is the NPPO* Contact Point’s confirmation that the product has been duly inspected and treated (where necessary) by the (exporting) country’s quarantine service based on conditions in the import permit. Please see attached samples.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service wishes to state that the request for import permit is non-exclusive to phytosanitary certificate and is often times dependent on the nature and circumstance of consignment. For instance, if the item of interest is simply Pallets or other types of Solid Wood Packaging Materials (SWPM), this does not necessarily preclude the need for inspection and possible treatment if the materials are found to be infected. This is irrespective of the fact that the client may have provided a Phytosanitary Certificate or Fumigation Certificate which are also both acceptable. If, on the other hand, the items of interest are other agricultural products like apple, there is still need for import permit in addition to the Phytosanitary Certificate. This is because the product would also need to be inspected and certified to be wholesome and adjudged to pose no risk to Nigeria’s agricultural economy.

NAQS wishes to use this medium re-emphasize its commitment to protecting Nigeria’s agro-economy and ensuring the maintenance of ease of doing business whilst enforcing the international conventions and trade agreements to which nigeria is signatory. Importers and exporters who need further clarifications should please contact NAQS via any of the following: or call 0807 777 8943, 0809 133 3385. They can also visit our website:

plant quarantine department Gozie Nwodo
Head, Media and Public Relations

*NPPO Contact Point = National Plant Protection Organization’s Authority in different countries. This is the singular official national signatory, for Plant Quarantine endorsements, that is recognized internationally by all WTO member nations and contracting parties of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). In the case of Nigeria, the signatory is Head, Plant Quarantine Department of NAQS.