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FIRS: Check VAT Exempted Goods & Services in Nigeria



What are exempted services under VAT Act?
  • Medical services.
  • Services rendered by Community Banks,
  • People’s Banks and Mortgage Institutions,
  • Plays and performance conducted by the educational institutions as part of learning.
  • All exported services.

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In this blog, we have compiled a list of goods and services that are exempt from the Value Added Tax (VAT) that is imposed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, certain goods and services are exempt from VAT. These products and services are exempt from paying tVAT for a variety of reasons, but we’ll get to those later.
Note: In Nigeria, 7.5% is the primary VAT rate. The Federal Government of Nigeria will increase this from 5% on February 1, 2020.
The authority to collect Added Tax (VAT) was granted to FIRS by the Value Added Tax Act Cap V1 LFN 2004 (as amended).Service of Federal Inland Revenue is the sole federal government agency in Nigeria responsible for collecting Value Added Tax (VAT).International Oil Companies, for example, may act as collection agents to collect VAT at the source and send it to FIRS.
There are some goods and services that are not subject to VAT in Nigeria. VAT was made available by FIRS. excluded products and services in order to educate the public. In addition, it is recommended that all VAT collection agencies limit themselves to these newly exempted goods and services.
Except for exports, which are exempt from the current standard rate of 7.5 percent, all items not on this published list are subject to VAT.

TIN Registration: How to Apply for TIN in Nigeria

Services Exempted from VAT

1. Medical and health care services;

2. Services rendered by Community Banks, People’s Bank and Mortgage Institutions (interest earnings on loans by commercial bank and premiums paid to insurance companies are not Vat able;

3. Performance conducted by educational institutions as part of learning;

4. Social services (orphanages, charities, and fire fighting);

5. Pure postal service (excluding giro services);

6. Non-commercial cultural services;

7. Non-commercial cultural services;

8. Overseas air transportation;

9. Public telephone (coin operated) and telegram services. This does not include private telephone or telephone used for business or commercial purposes.

Other Exempted Goods and Services VAT within Categories

1. Edible or table salt;

2. Water;

3. Salary or wages from employment or directors’ emolument from appointment;

4. Hobby activities;

5. Private transactions, for example, the occasional sale of domestic or household articles, furnishing, personal effects or private motor vehicles and

6. House rent. (i.e rent on residential accommodation only)

VAT EXEMPTED DIPLOMATIC GOODS (Based on Federal Government Duty Free Concessions)

  1. Aircrafts, their parts and ancillary equipment (air-conditioning plant, catering equipment, engine starting trolleys etc.)
  2. Films of educational, scientific and cultural character imported by United Nations or any of its Agencies;
  3. Fuel, lubricants and similar products to be used solely in the operation of aircraft of the armed forces or civil aircraft registered in a country recognised by Nigeria;
  4. goods imported by voluntary organization e.g. Nigeria Red Cross Society;
  5. goods for donation to charity;
  6. Goods imported for the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria;
  7. Goods imported for Consular Officers;
  8. Diplomatic Privileged Importations;
  9. Technical assistance (Based on Customs Personal Effect Standards);
  10. Passengers’ baggage (e.g. passengers’ personal and household accompanying luggage);
  11. Patterns and samples, cut, mutilated, spoiled or otherwise rendered unmerchantable (based on Customs Standard).
  12. Personal effects;
  13. Scientific specimens, imported for public exhibition, study or research;
  14. foodstuff;
  15. Church and Mosque equipment;
  16. life-saving vehicles appliances including ambulances;
  17. Medicinal preparations;
  18. Specialised Hospital and surgical equipment;
  19. Military hardware and uniform;
  20. Arms and Ammunition imported by the Nigeria Police Force;
  21. Plant and machinery imported for use by companies located within the Export Processing Zone (EPZ)
  22. Imported goods intended for duty free shops;
  23. Goods and services consumed by Diplomats, Embassies, Foreign Missions which have reciprocal agreements with Nigeria;
  24. Goods donated or obtained free under a technical assistance programme from donor international bodies or countries;
  25. Plant and machinery and equipment purchased for gas utilization in the downstream sector of petroleum operations; and
  26. Tractors, ploughs, agricultural equipment and implements purchased for agricultural projects.

TIN Registration: How to Apply for TIN in Nigeria

More Details VAT Exempted Goods & Services in Nigeria


BASIC FOOD ITEMS (basic food is defined as any unprocessed staple food item, whether or not it is packaged).

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS  including Laboratory Equipment.

Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating cooking, roasting, distilling, rectifying, sterlising, pasteurizing, steaming, drying, evaporating, vaporizing, condensing or cooling, other than machinery or plant of a kind used for domestic purposes, instantaneous storage water heaters and electrics.

Feeding bottles and related products for babies use. Sanitary towels and tampons napkins and napkin liners for babies and sanitary articles,  etc

Babies garments and clothing accessories

Baby carriages and parts.

Definition of commercial vehicles has been restricted to those vehicles designed for the transport of persons while spare parts are also restricted to engines, gears, brakes and brakes linings.

Note: Parts and accessories of commercial vehicles. (all tyres and tubes regardless of usage are vatable

Self-loading or self-unloading  (trailers and semi-trailer for  agricultural purposes.)

Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods.

Fishing vessels; factory ship and other vessels for processing or preserving fishery products


Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant growth regulator disinfectants and similar products.

Mechanical appliances (whether or not hand-operated) for projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders.  Appliances for agricultural or horticultural purpose.

Agricultural, horticultural or  forestry Jilachinery for soil preparation or cultivation; Lawn or sport-ground roller.

Harvesting of threshing machinery, including straw or fodder balers, grass or hay movers; machines for cleaning, sorting or grading eggs, fruit or other agricultural produce.

Milking machines and diary machinery.

Agricultural, horticutural forestry poultry-keeping or bee-keeping machinery, including germination plant fitted with mechanical or thermal equipment poultry  incubators and brooders.

Machines for cleaning, sorting or grading seed, grain or dried

Leguminous vegetables, machinery used in the milling industry or for the working of cereals or dried leguminous vegetable other than farm-type machinery.




Public transport type passenger vehicles

Motor vehicles for the transport of goods.

Special Purpose Motor Vehicles.
Fire Fighting vehicles, parts and accessories

Meat of sheep or goats, fresh, chilled or frozen.

Fish  (Fish, fresh or chilled, excluding fish fillets and other fish meat of heading)

Smoked fish, including fillets

Rice (Semi-milled or wholly milled or whether or not polished or glaze)



Plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes, being originals drawn by hand, hand written texts

Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of current or new issue in the country to which they are destined; stamp impressed paper; cheque forms, bank notes, stock, share or bond certificates and similar document of title.

for agricultural products, for wood, paper pulp, paper or paperboard, Distilling or rectifying plant.  Heat exchange units, Machinery for liquefying air or gas, For making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food.

Note: The list may not be the full list of Non Vatable Goods and Services in Nigeria

Source from FIRS

TIN Registration: How to Apply for TIN in Nigeria


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