CBN releases e-invoicing guidelines for import, exports

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines for the newly-introduced electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) and evaluator for exporters and importers, saying the process commences on February 1, 2022.

The new regulation, it stated, is aimed at determining the accurate value for goods leaving the country or otherwise. The migration was announced in August, last year.

At the weekend, the apex bank said the electronic process, which replaces the hard copy, would commence on February 1. It added that the invoice must be authenticated by the authorised dealer banks.

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This was disclosed in a circular signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. O. S. Nnaji, and addressed to authorised dealers and the general public.

“Effective February 1, 2022, all import and export operations will require the submission of an electronic invoice authenticated by the authorised dealer banks on the Nigeria single-window portal – Trade Monitoring System.

“This new regulation is primarily aimed at achieving accurate value from import and export items in and out of Nigeria… No importer/exporter may effect payment to the credit of any foreign supplier unless the electronic invoice has been authenticated by authorised dealer banks presented together with the relevant document for payments,” the document said.

CBN said a yearly subscription fee of $350 shall be “charged per authentication of suppliers on the system.”

The guideline promised that the system would operate on a global price verification mechanism, which is determined by benchmark price – a spot market price obtainable in the market where the goods are traded during the invoicing.

The document listed the obligations of both exporters and importers in the new scheme as well as possible sanctions for violating the rules.

The new rules, however, excluded, individual invoices with a value less than $10,000 or its equivalent in another currency. But where the suppliers have a yearly cumulative invoicing value of $500,000, they are required to submit e-invoices, notwithstanding the individual value of an invoice.

Imports and exports made by Nigerian security agencies as well as supplies to diplomatic missions and organisations relating to the United Nations are also not included.

Also excused are donations by foreign governments or international organisations to foundations and charities as well as goods supplied by a foreign government.


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