The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines for the e-Valuator and e-Invoice to replace hard copy invoices for both exports and imports

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A circular to that effect was issued during the week by Dr. O. S. Nnaji, Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN.

The guidelines will become operational from February 1, 2022.

According to the  circular, “effective, February 1, 2022 all Import and Export operations will require the submission of an Electronic Invoice (e-Invoice) authenticated by the Authorised Dealer Banks on the Nigeria Single Window portal Trade Monitoring System (TRMS)”.

The new policy  is primarily aimed at achieving accurate value from import and export items in and out of Nigeria.

The bank said  it “would operate on a Global Price Verification Mechanism guided by a benchmark price”.

“The benchmark price is the actual spot market price obtainable at the time of consummation of invoicing, in that market where the goods are traded”.

Imports and exports with unit prices that are more than 2.5 per cent of the verified global checkmate prices would be queried and will not be allowed for successful completion of either form M or Form NXP as the case may be.

“An importer/exporter of goods into Nigeria shall ensure that the purchase/sale contract with a foreign supplier/buyer stipulates compliance with the obligations set out in the CBN regulation and the supplier’s/seller’s invoice must be submitted in electronic format and authenticated by Authorised Dealer Bank (ADB) as part of the documentation for payment.

“Also, 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 documents for payment.”

The bank added that content of the electronic invoice authenticated by Authorised Dealer Banks is only advisory for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

“A supplier/buyer of goods or services for import/export operations into or out of Nigeria is required to register on a dedicated electronic portal provided by the CBN and operated by CBN’s agent service providers as in the operational manual for Form M and Form NXP e-lnvoicing.

“Following satisfactory registration and authentication, the CBN appointed Service Provider will deliver a verification report and digital certificate to the supplier/buyer, which is valid for one year from the date of issuance. A supplier will use the digital certificate for signing any e-invoice to be submitted.

“After satisfactory registration and authentication, the supplier/buyer is required to register or submit e-invoices in the dedicated portal for their validation and authentication as specified by the CBN.”

The CBN said that an appointed Service Provider will deliver the authenticated e-invoices to the supplier/buyer for transmission to the buyer and negotiation of payment.

The CBN appointed Service Provider will additionally transmit the e-invoices to Nigeria Single Window portal Trade Monitoring System (TRMS).

An annual subscription fee of US$350 will be charged per authentication of suppliers on the system.

Also, “the Supplier/buyer is advised that an electronic invoice that has been authenticated is required for payment. Any printed version of the electronic invoice will display a QR code to permit verification of its authenticity online.”