Introduction of SONCAP certification in Nigeria
The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) is the government agency responsible for setting and enforcing quality standards for imported and domestically manufactured products in Nigeria. To ensure that regulated products comply with the country's technical standards or other international standards that have been approved for implementation, and protect Nigerian consumers from unsafe or non-compliant products, the National Bureau of Standards of Nigeria has decided to implement regulated products exported to the country. Mandatory conformity assessment procedure before shipment (hereinafter referred to as SONCAP).
On March 1, 2013, the Nigerian Standards Bureau officially released the new SONCAP operation process. In the future, each independent third-party agency will no longer directly issue SONCAP certification, and the exporter will apply for product compliance certification (CoC) in the exporting country. The importer then applies the SC certificate to the Nigerian Standards Agency (SON) with a valid CoC.
Several concepts in SONCAP certification
In SONCAP certification, customers may mention these names: PC, SC, COC. These titles are slightly different, but most of the cases mean the same, that is, if you want to obtain compulsory certification of products for sale in Nigeria, for imported products, go to Nigerian customs for customs clearance. Here are more specific to distinguish several concepts:
· SON——Abbreviation of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Nigeria Standards Organization. This is a Nigerian government agency, also known as the Nigerian Standards Agency. In January 2013, SON officially released a revised SONCAP procedure for a fully qualified conformity assessment structure.
SONCAP-Abbreviation of Standards Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme. It can be understood that SONCAP is a procedure and basis issued by SON to evaluate whether a product meets Nigeria's minimum safety standards.
· PC——Abbreviation for Product Certificate, that is, product certificate, mandatory. Obtaining a PC certificate is the first step in the SONCAP process. The SONCAP conformity assessment procedure requires certification to obtain a PC certificate before applying for a SONCAP certificate. It is also a prerequisite for Nigerian importers to obtain Form M. Some banks need to present a PC certificate before issuing a letter of credit.
· FORM M-Importer uses a PC certificate to apply at a local bank, a form similar to the import declaration, and also the necessary information for applying for a SONCAP certificate later.
· SC——short for SONCAP Certification, that is, SONCAP certificate. It is the importer's application through PC certificate and FORM M before shipment, the last certificate obtained after submitting the bill of lading after shipment, and the certificate finally passed to customs for customs clearance.
· COC-Abbreviation for Certificate of Conformity, that is, certificate of conformity, certificate of conformity for single batch of product, single batch is valid. This step has been cancelled in the latest process, but because it was in the SONCAP program for some time, it will be often mentioned.
Applicable product range
The products currently regulated by SONCAP are as follows:
· Electrical and electronic products that can be used by the public in residential, office, retail, leisure and other environments. Including, but not limited to, home appliances, IT products, communications products, lighting products, audiovisual products, etc.
·Second hand car
· Car spare parts
· Car tires
· Car spare parts
Chemical products (such as motor oil, paint, asphalt, school chalk, kitchenware and tableware)
· Construction and building materials
Mechanical equipment and gas appliances (such as galvanized steel products, faucets and valves, ceramic and sanitary ware, ceilings, gas tanks, kerosene stoves and hurricane lights, aluminum products, mechanical backpacks, sprayers, electric pressure cookers, cement and plaster, etc.)
· Paper and stationery
· Safety protection equipment (such as fire fighting equipment, electronic safety equipment, etc.)
· Textiles and textile products
· Arts and crafts
· Leather, plastic and rubber products
The following products are not eligible for SONCAP:
· Medicine (Chinese medicine)
· Medical examination equipment and equipment, etc.
· Chemicals used as raw materials
· Military ware and equipment
Goods classified as contraband by the Nigerian Federal Government
· Used cars and other goods
Process and information
According to the latest certification procedure of the Nigerian Standards (SON), SONCAP certification is obtained in three steps:
The first step is to obtain a PC certificate, which is used by Nigerian importers to apply for FORM M No. and exporters to apply for batch shipment of SONCAP certificates. There are 3 modes of PC certificate, which will be described in detail later. The information required is as follows:
· Application for company business license
· Application Form
· Product pictures (instructions and final assembly drawings of mechanical and electrical products)
· Product internal test report
· Third-party laboratory product test reports (17025 qualified laboratories use relevant standard tests)
The second step is to obtain FORM M
The importer obtains the PC certificate at the local bank;
The third step is to obtain a SONCAP certificate. Apply for SONCAP certification on the eve of each shipment, make an appointment for pre-shipment inspection, and send it to the importer to clear the customs together with other documents after obtaining the certificate. The information required is as follows:
· PC certificate
· FORM M
· Application Form
· Box list
· Bill of lading