Shipping IT Equipment to Rwanda

importer of record services rwanda


A global telecommunications service provider had to deliver specialized equipment to a mobile network provider in Kigali, Rwanda. Without an import license or business entity, they needed a full service supply chain provider to properly import the IT hardware into Rwanda on their behalf.

FGX enabled the client to support their data center operations in Rwanda without having to setup a local business entity capable of importing technology hardware.


rwanda shipping technology process
rwanda IOR import process

What is RURA/RSB approval?

All telecommunications devices being imported into Rwanda need to gain approval from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and Rwanda Standards Board (RSB). To do this, we provided the RURA with requested device specs and data sheets. After approval by the RURA, the RSB ran a inspection on the shipment for final approval. The whole process was finalized with a signature by the director of the RSB.


FGX was able to handle the entire logistics process from local collection to final delivery. Our team in Rwanda was able to handle the shipment effortlessly through the custom process allowing for expedited clearance timeline. The client was able to procure their hardware in the USA and seamlessly ship it to Rwanda.

To learn more about FGX and how our fully managed supply chain services can help your company, contact us today at or call us (212) 352-9390.

rwanda importer of record results

Shipping IT Equipment to Mexico

importer of record services mexico


Our client, a US-based global IT management company, had to deliver specialized IT equipment to their customer’s office in Mexico City. Without an import license or business entity, they needed a full service supply chain provider to properly import the specialized equipment into Mexico on their behalf.

FGX gave the client the confidence and peace of mind that they could procure their IT hardware in the USA and successfully deploy it to their office in Mexico City.


mexico shipping technology process
mexico IOR import process

Pre-Validation Procedures for Mexican Customs

Shipments headed to Mexico from the U.S. must go through the pre-validation procedure. The process starts when our team pre-validates the shipment by verifying the shipment contents against the commercial invoice by pulling all serial numbers off each device. Once all the import paperwork is finalized, a customs inspection is scheduled with customs officials. If everything is properly prepared the shipment will pass the customs clearance procedure smoothly.


FGX was able to handle the entire logistics process from local collection to final delivery. Our team of Mexican customs specialists were able to handle the shipment effortlessly through the customs clearance process allowing for an expedited clearance timeline. The client was able to procure their hardware in the USA and seamlessly ship it to Mexico, saving both time and money.

To learn more about FGX and how our fully managed supply chain services can help your company, contact us today at or call us (212) 352-9390.

mexico importer of record results

Shipping IT Equipment to Vietnam

importer of record services vietnam


Our client had to deliver IT equipment into their Vietnam data center. Without an importer or business license, they needed a full service supply chain provider to properly import the specialized equipment into Vietnam on their behalf.

The client wanted to procure the equipment in the USA from their preferred VAR, configure it at their head office, then ship it into Vietnam. Previous attempts using an integrator like FedEx or UPS, resulted in the shipment being held indefinitely and ultimately returned to their head office in the USA.

Working with FGX gave the client the confidence and peace of mind that they could procure their IT hardware in the USA and successfully deploy it to their data center in Vietnam.


vietnam shipping technology process
vietnam IOR import process

Importance of Valuing Your Shipment

Clients must be aware that valuing each commodity according to its real market value is critical when shipping IT equipment into Vietnam. During customs clearance, Vietnamese customs agents verify stated values against the researched value of the goods. Mismatched valuations may result in a failed quality inspection and denial of a certificate of conformity.


FGX was able to handle the entire logistics process from local collection to final delivery. Our team in Vietnam was able to handle the shipment effortlessly through the custom process allowing for expedited clearance timeline. The client was able to procure their hardware in the USA and seamlessly ship it to Vietnam.

To learn more about FGX and how our fully managed supply chain services can help your company, contact us today at or call us (212) 352-9390.

vietnam importer of record results

What is an Importer of Record?

IOR Blog Header

Here’s a quick definition of Importer of Record:

Importer of Record (IOR): An authorized person or entity that takes responsibility for an import. Another common definition in the logistics industry is: the person or entity putting their name or company name on the import paperwork (hence acting as the importer).

If you’re looking to have a more holistic understanding of IOR, this article will cover:

What do IOR service providers do?

Generally speaking, IOR providers are companies that provide services relating to the import side of a shipment – including but not limited to – acting as the Importer of Record, procuring the necessary paperwork, applying for the relevant import permits, and arranging for customs clearance.

The IOR provider you choose should be an expert on the commodity you’re looking to ship and should also be able to provide any additional logistics & compliance services you may need.

Unless you have experience shipping internationally, you shouldn’t hire one provider for IOR services and another for freight and custom clearance services. This is mostly because coordinating between multiple providers is risky due to the likelihood for them to make operational and documentation mistakes during handoffs.

To minimize the mistakes caused by hand-offs, our clients typically hire us to provide technology IOR services and also rely on us to manage the following:

  • Advise on whether IOR services are needed
  • Evaluate the import feasibility based on hardware conformity, encryption, and local rules
  • Analyze the bill of materials to compile a list of requirements for a successful import
  • Harmonize the HS codes and pulling ECCN numbers for each item in the shipment
  • Provide a trading company that fulfills the above list of import requirements on behalf of our clients
  • Manage the door to door logistics and customs brokerage services to execute a successful deployment

Do you even need an Importer of Record?

Before we jump into the scenarios where you’ll likely need an IOR, we’ll discuss the situations where you might not need one at all. For example, in countries like the United States, Canada or any country in the European Union, you can be the IOR simply by owning a registered business entity. We typically refer to the US, Canada, and EU as “open markets” due to the relative ease of conducting international trade in those countries.

However, for any countries outside the US, Canada, and EU, it is highly likely that you’ll need to hire an IOR, which we’ll discuss in the later sections.

Importer of Record for the United States, Canada, or European Union

Whenever a potential or existing client tells us they need IOR services in the EU, Canada, or US, we first always ask them if they have a registered business entity in those countries.

Having a registered business entity in the US means you’ll have a Tax ID [EIN], in Canada you’ll have a Canadian Business Number [BN], and in the EU you’ll have a VAT ID or EORI number. If you have any of the above in those countries, you are 100% eligible to be the IOR in those markets.

VAT Tax Reclamation
In fact, if you are importing equipment for your company’s own use into the EU, or Canada, we always recommend that you should be the IOR. By acting as the IOR, specifically in the EU and Canada, you put yourself in a position to reclaim 100% of the import VAT or GST tax paid [if eligible]. This also means you can avoid paying the extra cost to hire an IOR Provider to act as your importer.

The above is extremely important to note because if you use an IOR provider to import your equipment, you will not be able to reclaim the import VAT or GST.  Since an IOR provider will never take ownership of your equipment, they cannot reclaim the VAT or GST that was paid during the import in a compliant manner.

Some IOR providers advertise the ability to reclaim import VAT or GST on your behalf, however this is a loose interpretation of the VAT/GST rules and the results may vary.

Great, your company can act as the IOR, what do you do now?

All you need to do now is to hire a company to manage the door to door logistics and customs clearance on your behalf, which technology shipping providers can typically assist with. You’ll just have to provide them your US Tax ID [EIN], Canadian Business Number [BN] or EU VAT ID / EORI #.

If you think you can be the IOR in the countries you’re looking to import into but want a professional opinion for safe measure, feel free to reach out to us. We provide our consulting services free of charge and can answer any questions regarding IOR you may have.

Importer of Record services for the rest of the world

The reason we’re designating the remaining 192 countries under the “rest of the world” category is because you’ll likely need an IOR provider when importing into any country that isn’t the US, EU, or Canada. There are rare exceptions to the rule, like Singapore and Australia to name a couple.

But generally speaking, besides the exceptions, the rest of the countries in the world are often considered “complex markets” because executing an import into those destinations often requires more than just owning a valid business entity.

Meaning, in addition to owning a business entity, there are different import authorizations, licenses, and permits that need to be obtained prior to the shipment being imported (which vary based on the destination.) For example, in Brazil, companies that want to import technology hardware are required to be RADAR registered, which can take up to a year to obtain.

But these complex markets are where IOR providers have found their niche – they provide companies the expert services needed to simplify the international supply chain.

So, if you’re looking to import into any country in South America, Africa, Asia Pacific, or Eastern Europe, we highly advise that you speak to an expert prior to shipping.

Here are two questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether you need to hire an IOR:

  • Do you know if any import permits and licenses are required and if there are, will you be able to procure them on your own?
  • Can you take responsibility of the equipment during the import process and answer any questions that may arise during customs clearance?

If you answered no to any of the questions above, it’s best to discuss your exact project details with an IOR service provider.

Importer of Record services for technology hardware

Importing technology hardware is vastly different than importing any other type of commodity. Each country has its own import regulations that vary based on the hardware-specific part #, ECCN classification, and HS code.

Furthermore, technology hardware is high-value, mission critical, and fragile. If anything goes wrong during the shipping or import process, a lot of additional time and resources will be needed to send replacement hardware.

These various reasons are why you will almost always need to hire an IOR when shipping technology hardware internationally (besides when shipping to the US, Canada, or EU).

For example, even in many of the closed markets where our clients do own business entities, those business entities typically don’t hold the proper import authorizations needed to satisfy the import requirements in those markets.

Just to name a few examples, below is a list of countries with their respective license requirements:

South America:

  • Brazil: RADAR Registration
  • Mexico: Import Licenses
  • Argentina: Import Licenses, Electrical Security Authorizations


  • China: Import Authorization, CCC Certificates
  • Hong Kong: HKTID Permits
  • Philippines: NTC Permits
  • India: IEC Codes, WPC Licenses
  • Russia: EAC Certificates, FSB Notifications

To manage these complex permits and import requirements, companies utilize our IOR, compliance, and logistics services to swiftly, seamlessly and securely deploy IT Equipment globally.

The bottom line for shipping technology hardware is: if you’re looking to ship IT Equipment into a more complex market, it’s best to speak to a technology shipping and IOR expert to go over the exact details of the deployment.

In our next post we discuss why Importer of Record Services are important and how it can be used to solve business problems.

If you have any questions/comments or have a project you’re looking to deploy, feel free to email us at and we’ll get back to you.

Shipping IT Equipment to LATAM

importer of record services latin america


Firewalls for the client’s network required immediate replacement to patch critical IT security vulnerabilities. Further investigations concluded that firewalls at the company’s LATAM offices were old and out of spec, exposing the entire company’s IT infrastructure to future cyber attacks.

This high threat level gained the attention of the company’s CIO and executives. A time-sensitive solution that would guarantee the quick remediation of these network vulnerabilities became a top priority.

International Procurement Options

Our client had two options when it came to replacing their legacy firewalls:

1. Procure devices in each LATAM country with an in-market re-seller.

2. Procure all devices from their domestic supplier and import firewalls into each LATAM
country with a partner like FGX.

In the end, the client trusted FGX to deliver our time-sensitive logistics solution.

Why NOT Procure In-Market?

Procuring from in-market VARS was not an option for the client. Local re-sellers are notorious for low inventory counts on critical network hardware. Instead re-sellers import the equipment themselves after the purchase order is cut. This has lead to blown procurement timelines for the client. Due to this, our client was actively looking for a logistics solution that would allow them to procure from their preferred US supplier and deliver into international destinations.

Why Choose FGX?

why choose FGX

Solutions Across Latin America:

brazil import details
chile import details
mexico import details
argentina import details


The client’s main concern was the timeline. The threat level to their global IT network was too high to miss the mandated internal date for remediation. The firewalls needed to be procured and delivered to each office as soon as possible. Partnering with First Global Xpress allowed our client to work with their preferred US supplier, which they trusted to provide all the firewalls on time. The process was faster and more transparent compared to their previous dealings with in-market resellers.

Once the firewalls were received, FGX processed the devices and prepared all necessary export and import documentation for every LATAM destination. FGX utilized our direct air freight network making transit into each destination occur in 1-2 days. Once at each destination port, our various trading companies acted as the importer of record on behalf of the client allowing them to import equipment without being a registered importer. In the end, the firewalls were delivered to each office before the mandated internal date for remediation.

Our client was pleased with the speed of delivery to each LATAM destination to the point where they have inquired about our logistics solutions to other destinations around the globe.

If you would like to learn more about our turnkey IT deployment solutions, please contact us at or call us (212) 352-9390.

client quote for using FGX

What to do if your shipment is stuck in customs

what to do if your shipment is stuck in customs

Whenever you ship internationally, there is always a risk that your goods may be stuck at customs. Some of the ways to lower that risk are to ensure all the paperwork is correct, the HS codes are properly declared, and that the duties & taxes are paid before shipping. However, even if everything is done right, your shipment still has a chance of being stuck in customs. In the unfortunate circumstance that your shipment has been held, the first thing you should do is to figure out the reason why.

Why is your shipment stuck in customs and what can you do?

Due to the many regulating bodies involved with shipping internationally, there are many reasons why your shipment may be stuck in customs, especially if you are shipping IT Equipment (routers, servers, switches, etc.) and are using hub-and-spoke carriers like FedEx / UPS / DHL. Hub-and-spoke carriers are generally equipped to import shipments that are low in value (less than $1000 USD), small in size, and not subject to additional regulations. Whereas IT Equipment is typically high in value and have specific clearance requirements, or may even need an import permit or license.

Here are a few reasons why a shipment may be stuck in foreign customs and what you can do:

  • The HS Codes were improperly declared or are missing
  • When importing goods, duties & taxes must be paid on the specific commodity based on the HS Code it is declared under. If your carrier didn’t declare the correct HS Code, or failed to declare one, the shipment will be held until the declaration is resolved.

    If you contact your carrier and they require an HS Code to provide to customs, use an HS Code classification tool like to determine the applicable code.

  • The paperwork was submitted with consignment errors
  • Most countries require at least a commercial invoice indicating the value of each line item for the shipment to be cleared. Without a commercial invoice, customs will not be able to determine the value of the shipment and determine the duties & taxes payable. Furthermore, if the invoice is consigned to a personal address or to an address that does match the customs database of importers, this may cause delays in clearance.

    If your carrier requires a commercial invoice, search for a “Commercial Invoice Template” and fill out as much information as possible. Ensure that the full description of goods, quantity, and unit value are filled out accurately. Also ensure you have correctly specified the importer of record on the commercial invoice and include their local tax ID.

  • Customs flagged the shipment and it requires an inspection
  • Random inspections occur frequently when shipping internationally, especially when shipping to countries with stricter import controls. For example, in China and Brazil, almost each shipment is inspected to ensure import regulations are met, and if the proper permits and declarations aren’t met, the shipment will be subject to lengthy delays and potentially confiscation.

    If your shipment has been flagged for inspection and the officer reviewing the shipment needs more information, it’s important to ask your carrier for exactly what information is required by the customs official. Unfortunately, if you’ve attempted to import and don’t have the proper licenses, authorizations, or permits in place, the only method we have seen success with is to re-export the shipment back to the origin and start the process over from there, working with a company that can provide importer of record services and is experienced with the country in question.

  • The declared value of the shipment is inconsistent with the accepted pricing customs has on file
  • A problem that you may face when importing into more regulated countries is how their local customs values the goods. When an item is imported, customs may deem the declared value of the item is not in-line with what they have seen in the past. If the declared value falls outside a valuation range customs deems acceptable, they will not clear the shipment and will require new paperwork is submitted with a higher valuation.

    In the unlikely scenario this occurs, you will have to contact your carrier to understand what their process is for you to amend your shipping paperwork with a higher valuation that is more inline with customs. If they are unable to amend the paperwork, you may have to have the shipment sent back to the origin, and re-attempt the import with a more acceptable declared value.

  • The incoterms were not appropriately specified to the carrier and customs is waiting for the duties & taxes to be paid
  • If the value of your shipment is above a certain threshold, many carriers may not advance the duties & taxes due to customs on your behalf. Until duties & taxes are paid, customs will hold the goods. A consolidated carrier like DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc. may not be able to pay the duties & taxes on your behalf, if the incoterms have been incorrectly specific, and thus the shipment will be stuck in customs until the incoterms are amended and the carrier pays the taxes on your behalf.

    If your carrier is not willing to, or unable to pay the duties & taxes on your behalf; you may have to hire a customs broker to liaise the transaction, or hire a local agent to complete payment to customs on your behalf. We recommend all import fees are paid prior to shipping, under the incoterms DDP; however if the shipment is already lodged in customs, you will need to check with your carrier to see if the incoterms can be amended to DDP.

This list doesn’t include the commodity specific issues that often arise when importing IT Equipment into a foreign country. For example, in Hong Kong, IT hardware classified as dual-use / encrypted technology requires a permit from the HKTID department before the shipment can be successfully imported.

If you’ve shipped devices that utilize encryption technology to Hong Kong without first obtaining a permit, there’s a good chance the shipment will be blocked, confiscated, or sent back to the origin.

If you’ve tried the above or don’t feel confident moving forward, what can you do?

If your shipment is already stuck in foreign customs, the chances of successfully clearing the shipment are low. Just to reiterate on the above, the first thing you can try is calling your carrier and providing them any additional information they request. Usually your carrier will ask you for additional product details, specific part numbers, and the value of each item in the shipment. They will try to re-declare the equipment and with luck, clear it into the country. However, when dealing with IT hardware, simply providing your carrier more information, may not be enough as certificates, import permits or licenses may also be required.

The best course of action to ensure you meet the local import requirements is to have the shipment returned to you and re-exported the proper way. IT Equipment is subject to many compliance and trade regulations that must be met prior to shipping to avoid the goods being confiscated and held in foreign customs. This includes the timely payment of duties & taxes, obtaining all the relevant permits, having a business entity in the foreign country that is set-up to import IT Equipment, and meeting logistical and packing requirements.

Fortunately, having the right logistics & trade services partner, like FGX, will take away all of the stress and uncertainty typically experienced when shipping internationlly. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation or if you have any questions regarding international technology shipping.

FGX – First Global Xpress provides door-to-door IT deployment solutions into over 130+ countries. Combining in-house logistics with importer of record and trade services, enables FGX to manage all aspects of international shipping. Our global team works on your behalf to ensure the timely delivery of your IT hardware to your international offices, data centers, or colo locations. If you want to learn more about shipping IT equipment internationally, visit our stories page. Or if you want to reach out, feel free to contact us here.

How the US-China Trade War Impacts the Channel

us china trade war

The escalating trade tensions between the United States and China has left global businesses in a tenuous situation. New tariffs on finished goods and raw materials are steadily increasing supply chain costs and leading to delays in customs clearance. Many businesses are now reconsidering long established supply chains and logistical partnerships. If you’re planning to do business with or export to China, it’s important to understand the chain of events that led to this situation.

How did the trade war escalate?

  • USA – April 2018
  • In response to China’s alleged trading practices, ie. the forced technology transfer policy, the Trump Administration announced that it will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of high-tech industrial imports from China.

  • China – April 2018
  • In retaliation, China announces its own 25% tariff on $50 billion worth US goods.

  • USA – April 2018
  • The Chinese company ZTE was penalized for doing business with Iran and North Korea. US bans ZTE from purchasing from US suppliers for seven years.

  • China & USA – June 2018
  • China agrees to lift tariffs on some agricultural products in exchange for lifting the US supplier ban on ZTE.

  • USA – June 2018
  • The Trump Administration announces plans to enforce the 25% tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports.

  • USA – June 2018
  • The Trump Administration announces plans to impose a 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

  • USA & China – July 2018
  • Both sides officially implement tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s imports. An additional $16 billion is expected to go into effect soon.

  • USA – July 2018
  • President Trump said in an interview that he was willing to impose a tariff on all $505 billion of Chinese imports.

In this bout, we have seen two global powers trade punches back and forth. Unfortunately it’s becoming clear that American firms doing business in China are caught in the middle.

Why did the trade war start?

When discussing this trade dispute, it is important to note the trade imbalance that exists between the two countries.
2017 Import Numbers (via US Census Bureau)

  • United States imported around $505 billion of goods from China
  • China imported around $130 billion of goods from the United States.
  • US has a $375 billion trade deficit with China.

us china trade imbalance

What is the impact of the trade war on IT hardware imports?

Even if China put tariffs on every United States import, it is nowhere close to covering the potential tariffs the US can enforce. The Trump Administration has already imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods, with plans for $216 billion more. President Trump has even come out and said he is prepared to impose tariffs on all $505 billion of Chinese imports.

China will have to think of alternative measures to respond to escalations by the United States. Many believe China’s response will come in the form of holding shipments at port, stringent licenses controls, surprise compliance inspections, or fines for multinationals without the proper legal documents covering their imports. This added pressure on supply chains, especially around customs compliance and processes, will become costly for businesses when the necessary safeguards are not put in place. China has a notoriously rigid import process that has the potential to become even more strict.

How to continue importing to China:

To ensure that deploying IT gear into China is still a viable option in the future, it is critical to partner with an IT shipping specialist with vast experience and a strong local presence in China. Whether you’re planning to support your offices in Shanghai, Beijing, or elsewhere in mainland China, working with an Importer of Record will be critical to stress-free and successful deployments.

FGX’s importer of record service in China provides the local expertise needed to properly import IT equipment; we handle all the paperwork, hold the necessary licenses/authorizations, and manage the customs clearance process on your behalf.

By working with FGX, your data center rollouts, office infrastructure upgrades, or end-user technology deployments will stay on schedule. We will also monitor this trade dispute closely through our partners in China for our clients. This will allow your business to continue to react quickly despite the changing political climate.

FGX – First Global Xpress provides door-to-door IT deployments solutions into Beijing, Shanghai and great Mainland China. Our global team works on your behalf to ensure the timely delivery of your IT hardware to your local offices and data centers in China. Contact us for more information at or call: (212)-352-9390.

Shipping IT Hardware to Data Centers in Singapore

singapore importer of record

Client Need

A global product certification company needed to urgently replace critical resources at their central APAC data center, located in Singapore. They wanted to source IT equipment in the United States for their APAC region. They were under a tight deadline to replace critical resources at their central Singapore data center. Purchasing the hardware in Singapore was not an option as they did not have a local business entity setup. Their stack was located at a colocated data center facility, therefore they needed a logistics partner with importer of record capabilities to assist with customs clearance.


Singapore is quickly becoming the ideal shipping hub for IT providers and re-sellers worldwide. Not only is Singapore the safest country in the world, its close proximity to Hong Kong, Tokyo, and other major Asian cities has made it the perfect gateway for technology. Singapore has a low risk environment for natural disasters, decreasing the need for extensive disaster recovery strategies; another driving factor for the growth in data centers. Singapore is the home of over 44 data centers with several more under construction.


FGX received a direct drop shipment from the manufacturer, and immediately ran a customs simulation to confirm the equipment met all requirements for import into Singapore. All shipping documents were prepared by our team and sent to Singapore for final approval. Once we received the green light to export, the equipment was tendered on a direct flight into Singapore Changi airport.

While in the air, our customs team in Singapore provided all necessary clearance documents to the local authorities and filed an import permit utilizing our importer of record service. Upon arrival, clearance was expedited and a same day delivery to the data center was achieved.


The shipment was delivered in 3 working days, allowing the client to replace the faulty component and restore their servers to normal operation. FGX was able to fully manage the entire process from start to finish, the client and the end-user in Singapore did not need to be involved in the shipping process.

“I was truly impressed at how fast FGX was able to safely ship much needed backup resources to Singapore.”
-Engineering Manager, Infrastructure & Operations, Global Inspection Company

SONCAP Certificates Simplified with Importer of Record Services


Client Need

A global managed service provider needed to deliver telecom devices to support their local office in Lagos, Nigeria. They were looking for a partner that had experience with the complicated SONCAP product certification process in Nigeria. Without a local business registered in the country, our client also required an Importer of Record service.

nigeria services

  • Form ‘M’ Procurement
  • Direct Door-to-Door Shipping
  • SONCAP Certification Processing
  • Customs Clearance
  • Importer of Record Services
  • Last Mile Delivery


Lagos, Africa’s largest city, has experienced rapid growth in their startup and technology scene. In 2016, Nigerian startups raised the most direct investment on the continent. As Africa’s most promising tech startups continue to see success, large global companies are taking notice. Most notably, well-known silicon valley tech companies have announced plans to open developer spaces in Lagos. All this investment in technology startups makes Lagos the most promising tech hub on the continent.

The Plan and Execution

Importers need to provide both a Form ‘M’ and a SONCAP certificate for each product they are looking to import into Nigeria. The client had no experience with this process and was looking for a partner to manage the shipment from start to finish. As a full service global logistics provider, FGX worked directly with an accredited product certification company and our customs agents in Lagos to complete all the documentation and inspections needed on the clients behalf. After FGX received the required approvals, the equipment was booked on a direct flight to Lagos, Nigeria. When it landed in Lagos, the gear was lodged into customs immediately.

Import Documentation & Certification

nigeria import form M
The Form ‘M’ is a document issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that declares the intention of the goods entering the country. The shipment cannot move without this form. We worked with our customs specialists in Lagos to complete the invoice and Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO) with the required information. We ensured the harmonized tariff codes for each specific product was properly chosen and declared on the documents. Once this was complete, our local agents submitted the documents to receive this form. After 4 business days the approved Form ‘M’ was issued.

nigeria soncap certificate
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) oversees the SON Conformity Assessment (SONCAP) program that ensure all imports comply with countries guidelines. The two step process consists of receiving a PC certification and passing an inspection by an accredited testing firm. We received the PC certificate by providing all of the required product test reports (sourced from our manufacturer contacts) as well as copies of the export documentation. Once the PC certificates were in hand, we arranged for an on-site inspection with our product certification partner. The shipment passed the inspection on the first attempt and we were promptly issued the final SONCAP certificates to proceed with import.

Importer of Record / Customs Clearance

FGX’s Importer of Record service allowed our client to import IT hardware into Nigeria without a registered business entity or an import license of their own. Our local team was able to clear the shipment through customs in 5 days with the proper Form ‘M’ and SONCAP certificates. After clearance, the shipment was recovered from LOS airport and promptly delivered to our client’s local office. Telecom gear is highly regulated in many countries and Nigeria is no exception. The expertise of our local agents ensured there were no delays during the entirety of the import and customs clearance process.

importer of record service nigeria

The Results

FGX’s full suite of logistics services allowed us to manage the shipment door-to-door with little involvement from the client. Working directly with government agencies and customs agents, we procured all the required approvals and certifications to import the gear properly. In the end, our client saved 12% overall by purchasing telecom gear in the USA and deploying it to their local Nigeria office. After experiencing a shipment with FGX, our client now sees it is possible to purchase IT equipment domestically and deploy it internationally; even into countries with complex import processes.

How to Reclaim VAT on Imports

What is import VAT?

Import Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is placed on goods entering countries (like the 28 EU member states). VAT is designed to distribute the tax burden across the supply chain, but ultimately must be borne by the end-user/consumer. Therefore, any VAT-registered business conducting an import of IT hardware to support their operations or provide a service to consumers, will be able to reclaim the import VAT.

How VAT Works:

What is Import VAT

VAT Reclamation

If your overseas office is VAT registered and has a VAT ID or EORI number, FGX will strongly encourage your company to be the Importer of Record (IOR). This will make VAT reclamation a simple process for your internal accounting team. FGX maintains all import documentation to support your internal teams. We give you / your internal team the tools so you don’t have to hire third-party VAT reclamation services.

Required Documentation*

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Shipping Waybill
  • Customs Clearance Entry
  • Duty and Tax Payment Receipt

How to Reclaim Import VAT

*May vary by country; check with your internal accounting team for more information



VAT Rate: 20%

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VAT Rate: 19%

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VAT Rate: 20%

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VAT Rate: 21%

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VAT Rate: 21%

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VAT Rate: 23%

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VAT Rate: 21%

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VAT Rate: 22%

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VAT Rate: 23%

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VAT Rate: 25%

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VAT Rate: 24%

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VAT Rate: 20%

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VAT Rate: 25%

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VAT Rate: 23%

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Why Does FGX Prepay VAT?

Prepaying all taxes and duties, or shipping with incoterms Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), allows the shipment to immediately enter the customs clearance process when it arrives at the destination port. FGX only ships via DDP incoterms, to avoid any unnecessary delays once the shipment reaches customs.