A Deadline of 19th May Set for the Conversion of CCIs to e-CCIs

In 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that physical Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) would be phased out and replaced with evidence of capital importation in the form of an electronic certificates of capital importation (e-CCI). A CCI serves as documentary evidence that an investor brought capital into Nigeria for investment(s). The CCI itself grants the holder access to the official foreign exchange market in order to convert Naira proceeds of its investment into foreign currency for repatriation. The reasons given for this change to e-CCIs include the elimination of the challenges of handling, and safe-keeping, of physical CCIs by investors.

The CBN requires that all investors with existing and active CCIs (i.e. CCIs that have not been fully utilised or cancelled) must have such certificate(s) dematerialised and converted into an e-CCI(s) by 19th May, 2017.

It is not clear what will happen if an investor fails to convert a CCI held in physical form to an e-CCI by the date specified. It may be that conversion after that date will require specific approval of the CBN or that fees or a penalty will be charged in relation to any late conversions.

We have identified below some of the main points that you need to know about the process for converting an existing CCI:

* The application should be made through the Authorised Dealer that issued the physical CCI.

* No fees are payable for the conversion.

* The validity and terms of the converted CCI will remain unchanged.

* An investor will be given a password which will give it access to the Electronic Certificate of Capital Importation System (ECCIS) portal to view its CCI.

* An investor will be permitted to print a copy of its e-CCI on the ECCIS.

Given the importance of CCIs for the repatriation of proceeds of investment, if you have an existing and active CCI, our advice is that you take immediate steps to contact your Authorised Dealer to begin the process of converting it to an e-CCI.

Other than the change in the form of the CCI, there has been no change to the process in respect of the utilisation of CCIs for repatriation of proceeds, and for applying for and obtaining a CCI in connection with new investments.

This does not constitute legal advice and if you have any questions please contact: aniekan.ukpanah@uubo.org, yinka-edu@uubo.org, joseph.eimunjeze@uubo.org or to your usual UUBO contact.