The federal government levies customs duties on most imports, but these duties were substantially reduced in 1986 and in 1995. The import duty varies from 5% to 60%, averaging 12%. All imports are also subject to a 7% port surcharge and a 5% value-added tax (VAT). The paperwork necessary for exporting and importing is lengthy. The taxation system has been widely avoided and valuations are arbitrary.
Prohibited exports include raw hides and skins, timber and building materials, raw palm kernels, and unprocessed rubber (to protect building and processing industries). Most goods produced in Nigeria may be freely exported. Prohibited imports include live chicks, flour, vegetable oils, gypsum, mosquito repellent coils, plastic domestic articles, used tires, and weapons.