CBN Clarifies Items Valid for Forex


Obinna Chima

Following misconceptions and enquiries across the market about items valid for accessing foreign exchange (forex) from the interbank market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wednesday listed the eligible items that are valid.

The CBN, in a circular  signed by its Director, Trade and Exchange Department, W.D. Gotring, a copy of which was posted on its website, listed 35 set of items valid for forex,  and urged authorised dealers to ensure compliance.

The misconception was triggered by a recent central bank circular.

According to the latest circular, the items included animal or vegetable fats and oil fractions, hydrogenated (not including palm oil/Olein and margarine,); prepared glues and adhesive based on polymers of headings 39.01 to 39.13 or on rubber; other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of polymers of ethylene printed (only for pharmaceutical manufacturing); and bobbins, spools, cops and similar supports of paperboard …..of kind used for winding textile yarn.

Some others listed were uncoated Kraft paper and board in rolls; synthetic filament yarn,textured yarn of nylon or other polyamides measuring per single yarn more than 50 text; woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, including woven fabrics obtained from material…polypropylene fabrics of the type used as carpet backing; laboratory – hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware; other articles of plastics and articles of other matter (only for pharmaceutical manufacturing); and non-domestic heating/cooling equipment, other machinery, plant or laboratory equipment not specified (only for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had previously clarified that a recent circular titled: “re: Revised Documentation Requirements for Allocation of Foreign Exchange, for Small-Scale Importation,” did not imply the removal of the restriction planned on 41 items from accessing forex.

The CBN governor had stressed that the ban on the 41 items not eligible for FX remains in place.

The central bank had in the circular stated that importers of items that had been previously classified as “Not Valid for Forex,” with transactions value of $20,000 and below per quarter shall now qualify for allocation of foreign exchange (FX) going forward. This, it however explained shall be subject to completion of Form ‘Q’ by the small scale importers.

The circular dated May 3, 2017, addressed to all authorised dealers, signed by CBN  Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr. W.D. Gotring, had stated: “Please note that importers of items classified as “Not Valid for Forex with transactions value of $20,000 and below per quarter shall now qualify for allocation of foreign exchange subject to completion of Form Q. Note that this circular supersedes earlier circular on the subject matter.”