Export licensing policy for Nigeria

Nigeria is subject to regional controls governing small arms and light weapons.

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Nigeria is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The UK will not issue an export licence for small arms and light weapons, components or ammunition to ECOWAS. The UK will only consider issuing licence applications where the ECOWAS Commission has issued an exception to its moratorium. Find out more in this guide to ECOWAS export restrictions.

On 14 June 2006 the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons was adopted. The ECOWAS agreed to ban small arms and light weapons (SALW), ammunition and other related materials from being:

  • imported
  • exported
  • transferred to mercenaries, armed militia, rebel groups and private security companies
  • possessed, used and sold by civilians


ECOWAS member states can apply to the ECOWAS Commission Executive Secretariat to import or export SALW for specific reasons, such as:

  • national defence and security
  • peace support

Transit control

Military items transiting the UK are still regarded as being exported when they leave the country and are therefore subject to control. Article 17 of the Export Control Order 2008 includes a transit and transhipment exception meaning that in many situations a licence is not required. This exception does not apply to certain military goods destined for Nigeria, meaning that a licence is required to transit goods through the UK or to tranship them in the UK with a view to re-exportation to Nigeria.

Apply for an export licence through the online export licensing system managed by the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU).

ECJU contact details


Contact the helpline for general queries about strategic export licensing.

Export Control Joint Unit
2nd floor 
3 Whitehall Place


Telephone: 020 7215 4594

Notices to exporters

Notices to exporters from the ECJU contain important information about:

  • amendments to open general export licences
  • changes to the list of controlled goods
  • updates on legislation and sanctions

Sign up to receive email alerts to notices to exporters.

Published 6 August 2019