The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is the Nigerian government agency responsible for formulating and implementing quality standards for imported goods and domestically manufactured products. In order to ensure that the controlled products comply with the country’s technical standards or other international standards that have been approved for implementation, and to protect Nigerian consumers from unsafe or non-compliant products, the National Bureau of Standards of Nigeria has decided to implement the control products exported to the country. Compulsory conformity assessment procedure before shipment (hereinafter referred to as SONCAP).
On March 1, 2013, the Nigeria Bureau of Standards officially released the new SONCAP operation process. In the future, each independent third-party organization will no longer directly issue SONCAP certification. Instead, exporters will apply for product conformity certification (CoC) in the exporting country. The importer then applies for the SC certificate to the Nigeria Bureau of Standards (SON) with a valid CoC.
Several concepts in SONCAP certification
In the SONCAP certification, customers may mention these names: PC, SC, COC. These names are slightly different, but in most cases they mean the same thing, that is, if you want to obtain compulsory certification for products sold in Nigeria, for imported products, you go to Nigeria customs for customs clearance. Let's distinguish several concepts in detail:
·SON-the abbreviation of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, that is, the Nigerian Standards Organization. This is a Nigerian government agency, also known as the Nigeria Bureau of Standards. In January 2013, SON officially released the revised SONCAP procedure for the fully conformed assessment structure.
·SONCAP-the abbreviation of Standards Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme, that is, the conformity assessment program of the Nigeria Standards Organization. It can be understood that SONCAP is a procedure and basis issued by SON to assess whether products meet Nigeria's low safety standards.
PC-the abbreviation of Product Certificate, that is, product certificate, mandatory. Obtaining a PC certificate is the first step to be completed in the SONCAP program. The SONCAP conformity assessment procedure requires that the PC certificate be obtained before the certification can be applied for the SONCAP certificate. It is also a prerequisite for Nigerian importers to obtain Form M, and even some banks need to show the PC certificate before issuing the letter of credit.
·FORM M-The importer uses the PC certificate to apply at the local bank. It is a form similar to the import declaration, and it is also the necessary information for applying for the SONCAP certificate later.
·SC——The abbreviation of SONCAP Certification, namely SONCAP certificate. It is the certificate obtained by the importer through the PC certificate and FORM M before shipment, and after submitting the bill of lading after shipment, it is also the certificate finally handed over to the customs for customs clearance.
·COC-the abbreviation of Certificate of Conformity, that is, the certificate of conformity, a single batch of product qualification certificate, single batch is valid. This step has been cancelled in the new process, but because it was in the SONCAP program for a while, some people will often mention it.
Applicable product range
The products currently regulated by SONCAP are as follows:
·Can be used for electrical and electronic products used by the public in residential, office, retail, and leisure environments. Including, but not limited to, home appliances, IT products, communication products, lighting products, audio-visual products, etc.
·Second hand car
·Automotive Spare Parts
·Automotive Spare Parts
·Chemical products (such as motor oil, paint, asphalt, school chalk, kitchen utensils and tableware)
·Construction and building materials
·Mechanical equipment and gas appliances (such as galvanized steel products, faucets and valves, ceramics and sanitary ware, suspended ceilings, gas tanks, kerosene stoves and hurricane lamps, aluminum products, mechanical backpacks, sprayers, electric pressure cookers, cement and gypsum, etc.)
·Paper and stationery
·Safety protection equipment (such as fire-fighting equipment, electronic safety equipment, etc.)
·Textiles and textile products
·Arts and handicrafts
·Leather, plastic and rubber products
The following products are not applicable to SONCAP:
·Medicine (Chinese medicine)
·Medical examination equipment and machinery, etc.
·Chemicals used as raw materials
·Military sanitary ware and equipment
·Goods listed as prohibited goods by the Federal Government of Nigeria
·Used cars and other commodities
Process and information
The Nigerian Standard (SON) new certification procedure stipulates that SONCAP certification is obtained in three steps:
The first step is to obtain a PC certificate for Nigerian importers to apply for FORM M No. and exporters to apply for SONCAP certificates for batch shipments. There are 3 modes of PC certificate, which will be described in detail later. The information to be provided is as follows:
·Apply for company business license
·Product Picture (Electrical and Mechanical Products Attached Manual and Assembly Drawing)
·Product internal test report
·Third-party laboratory product test report (17025 qualified laboratory uses relevant standard test)
The second step is to get FORM M
·The importer obtains the PC certificate from the local bank;
The third step is to obtain the SONCAP certificate. Apply for SONCAP certification on the eve of each shipment, make an appointment for pre-shipment inspection, and send the certificate to the importer for customs clearance together with other documents. The information to be provided is as follows:
·Bill of lading
Importers use the SONCAP certificate to go to Nigeria Customs for customs clearance. When all controlled products arrive at Nigeria’s customs (ports, airports, land borders), if they do not have a SONCAP certificate, they will be rejected by the customs. The goods will be sampled and tested in accordance with Nigeria’s requirements, and the exporter/importer will bear all costs ( Sampling, testing, detention fees), and then may face the confiscation and destruction of the goods.