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  • Abundant Natural Resources
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  • Preferential Quotas and Tariffs
  • Abundant Skilled Labour

What is NEPZA?
What does NEPZA do?
What are the requirements for locating in the Zone?
What do I stand to benefit in the Zone?
Will I pay taxes?
Can I have my own FZ yard?
What are the types of license that can be obtained from NEPZA?
Is there a time limit to exist in the Zone?
Do I have to register with the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commissions) to operate as an enterprise in the Zone? Can I wind up my business and repatriate my capital on investment?
Is there labour (expatriate) quota restriction?
Will there be lockups/strikes?
Am I secured in the Zone?
How easy will it be to clear my consignments at the port?
Am I allowed to bring in banned goods?
What are the immigration procedures?
What are the requirements for securing visa for expatriates coming into the zone?
What are the types of visa available under the FTZ scheme?
How long, and what does it take for renewal of license?
What are the processes involved in exporting goods from the FZ into the customs territory?
What are the customs procedures?


1. What is NEPZA?

It means the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, an Agency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria set up pursuant to Nigeria Export Processing Zones CAP N107 LFN 2004.

2. What does NEPZA do?

The licensing, monitoring, promotion and regulation of all free zones in Nigeria are vested in the Authority (NEPZA).

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3. What are the requirements for locating in the Zone?

A formal application has to be made on the form provided by the relevant Authorities with a payment of N50, 000 or its US dollar equivalent (subject to change).

A feasibility study must accompany the application form when submitted. The feasibility study should show the following:


  • Project description
  • Market survey
  • Funding proposals
  • Five years financial projections
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), etc.

After the notification of approval and payment of licensing fee to operate within the zone you may apply for land/factory space in the zone.

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4. What do I stand to benefit in the Zone?

Approved enterprises within Nigeria Free Zones shall be entitled to the following incentives and concessions:


  • Legislative provisions pertaining to taxes, levies, duties and foreign exchange regulations shall not apply within the free zones;
  • Repatriation of foreign capital investment in the zones at any time with capital appreciation of the investment;
  • Remittance of profits and dividends earned by foreign investors in the zones;
  • No import or export licenses shall be required;
  • Up to 100% of production may be sold in the customs territory against a valid permit, and on payment of appropriate duties;
  • Rent free land at construction stage, thereafter rent shall be as determined by the Authority or Zone Management;
  • Up to 100% foreign ownership of business in the zones allowable;
  • Foreign managers and qualified personnel may be employed by companies operating in the zones;
  • The import duty on goods manufactured, processed or assembled in the free zones and exported into the Nigerian customs territory, shall be the rate applicable to the raw materials (in the state in which they are originally introduced into the free zones)

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5. Will I pay taxes?

As one of the incentives, operating in any of the Nigeria�s free zones attracts no tax.


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6. Can I have my own FZ yard?

Yes, upon satisfying all the requirements that are listed below:

Submission of a feasibility report on the viability of the scheme, such a feasibility report must include:


  • Sources of funds for development.
  • Financial and economic analyses including the social effects.
  • Marketing and promotional plan for the proposed zone.
  • Any other issue that may project the viability of the proposed zone.
  • An Environmental Impact Assessment of the project. Because an environment impact assessment encompasses taking necessary data over two seasons, a benchmark of Environmental Impact Assessment will suffice.
  • The survey plan of the area showing the coordinates and the beacons.
  • Evidence like Certificate of Occupancy to show that the land under consideration is unencumbered. (A letter from the state government on the status of the land may be an added advantage.).
  • When all these have been compiled, a covering letter and an application letter should be forwarded to the Authority.
  • On submission of this package, a non-refundable application fee of $1,000 (subject to change) is made to the Authority and this must be properly receipted.
  • The Authority will then conduct the necessary due diligence and appraisal before the recommendation is made to Mr. President.

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7. What are the types of license that can be obtained from NEPZA?

The Authority may grant approval for one or more of the following Licences:


  • Free Zone Developers License.
  • Free Zone Enterprise License.

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8. Is there a time limit to exist in the Zone?

An enterprise can exist in the zone in perpetuity on the condition that it is backed by a valid subsisting operating licence.


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9. Do I have to register with the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commissions) to operate as an enterprise in the Zone?

The regulations of the Corporate Affairs Commissions do not have any authority over the enterprise in the FZ. Section 10 of the NEPZA Act CAP N107 LFN 2004expressly exempts companies operating in the zone from being bound by the registration process in the domestic economy for the purposes of doing business in the zone.


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10. Can I wind up my business and repatriate my capital on investment?

Yes you can. That is part of the investment guarantee that an investor enjoys.

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11. Is there labour (expatriate) quota restriction?

As one of the incentives given to investors in the zone, labor mobility into the zone is unrestricted, necessary documentations is however required.

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12. Will there be lockups/strikes?

There shall be no strikes or lock-outs for a period of 10 years following the commencement of operations in the Zone (as contained in Section 18 (5) of NEPZA Act CAP N107 LFN 2004) and any trade dispute arising within a Zone shall be resolved by the Authority.

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13. Am I secured in the Zone?

The Authority or Management of a Free Zone shall be responsible for the security and safety of life, property and facilities within the Zone.

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14. How easy will it be to clear my consignments at the port?

Consignments/goods meant for the free zones are to be clearly marked with a statement that �Free Zone Status shall apply� this will make for easy passage after some necessary documentation.

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15. Am I allowed to bring in banned goods?

Banned goods in the extant fiscal policy are allowed into the zones, but are not be diverted into the customs territory except under special circumstances and subject to the applicable customs regulations.

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16. What are the immigration procedures?


  • An approved enterprise shall on the execution of a lease agreement with the Authority for built-up factory space or land for development as a factory site apply to the Authority for work permits for its alien workers in such format as the Authority may stipulate.
  • Application for work permits for aliens shall only be accepted by the Authority if in conformity with the Authority�s written requirements. On acceptance of an application for work permit for aliens, the Authority shall acknowledge receipt of same.
  • The Authority shall consider an application for work permit for aliens and notify the applicant of the grant of the permit or otherwise within 30 days of due submission of said application.
  • An approved enterprise shall forward to the Authority at the end of each quarter such information on the use of its permit to employ aliens as the Authority in writing may stipulate from time to time.

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17. What are the requirements for securing visa for expatriates coming into the zone?


  1. TEMPORARY WORK PERMIT (TWP) VISA
    1. Temporary Work Permit Visa is issued to foreigners coming to Nigeria to perform specialized duties for a short duration; such as installation/repairs of machinery, feasibility studies, auditing of accounts, training, commissioning of projects, erection of drilling equipment, control of natural disaster oil spillage, attending board meetings by non-resident company executives, etc. This is the only category of visa which approval is granted by the Comptroller-General of Immigration in Nigeria, which is then transmitted to Nigeria�s missions abroad for issuance.
    2. Requirements for TWP Visa:

      • formal application to the Comptroller-General of Immigration stating passport particulars of the expatriate, purpose of visit and confirmation of acceptance of immigration responsibilities by sponsor;
      • evidence of company registration;
      • evidence of purchase of equipment, contract award etc;
      • cable approval from the Comptroller-General of Immigration;
      • valid travel document;
      • return ticket;
      • Completed forms Imm.22 with passport photographs affixed;
      • Approved visa fee where applicable. NOTE: A visa may not be required where there exists a bilateral or multilateral visa abolition agreement with Nigeria for visits not exceeding 90 days except for ECOWAS Nationals.

  2. RESIDENCE � STR VISA
    1. All foreigners coming to reside in Nigeria to work or accompany spouses/parents shall arrive the country with an STR (Subject to Regularisation) visa obtainable at Nigerian Missions abroad
    2. Requirements for Issuance of STR Visa.
      Employees:

      • Formal application for STR visa made by the Employer to the Nigerian Mission abroad closest to the subjects normal place of abode, indicating job position and nationality in addition to acceptance of immigration responsibilities. This should be accompanied by a support letter from the Authority/Zone Management;
      • completed forms Imm.22 (visa application form) with passport photographs affixed;
      • valid travel document;
      • photocopies of educational qualifications and CV of pervious work experience;
      • letter of employment stating the terms and conditions of employment;
      • letter of acceptance of offer;
      • one-way ticket;
      • original certificates for sighting;
      • Approved visa fee where applicable.

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18. What are the types of visa available under the FTZ scheme?


  1. Business Visa
  2. Tourist Visa
  3. Visitors Visa
  4. Transit Visa
  5. Temporary Work Permit (TWP)
  6. Residence Visa

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19. How long, and what does it take for renewal of license?

A Licence will be valid until the end of the year of issue. At the end of this period, the Licence will be renewable on:


  1. Payment of the approved Licence renewal Fee;
  2. Production of any documents, returns or information which the Authority requires;
  3. Payment of all outstanding amounts (if any) due to the Authority.
  4. Adherence to the terms of the Licence.

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20. What are the processes involved in exporting goods from the FZ into the customs territory?

Goods released into the Customs Territory shall be classified as imports and shall be subject to all applicable taxes, duties and levies as applicable to Free Trade Zone products. The import duty on goods manufactured, processed or assembled in the free zones and exported into the Nigerian customs territory, shall be the rate applicable to the raw materials (in the state in which they are originally introduced into the free zones)


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21. What are the customs procedures?

  1. Goods released into the Customs Territory shall be classified as imports and shall be subject to all applicable taxes duties and levies as applicable to Free Trade Zone products.
  2. Equipment and consumables to be used in the construction of facilities may be imported into the Free Zone by a Licensee free of any taxes, duties or levies.
  3. The procedure for importing goods into the Free Zone is as set out in the NEPZA Regulation 2004.
  4. The procedure for exporting goods from the Free Zone is as set out in Schedule B of NEPZA Regulation 2004.
  5. The procedure for handling goods, which require repairs and maintenance, is as set out in Schedule C of NEPZA Regulation 2004.
  6. The procedure for transferring goods from one licensee to another is as set out in Schedule D of NEPZA Regulation 2004.
  7. The procedure for transferring goods from one Free Zone to another is as set out in Schedule E of NEPZA Regulation 2004.

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