Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is SON?

SON stands for ‘Standards Organisation of Nigeria’.

Click here to read more about SON

Is SON a private or a government organisation?

SON is a Federal Government agency.

How can one identify products certified by SON?

Products certified by SON can be recognized by the certification marks inscribed on them or their packaging.

The two certification marks are for ‘MANCAP’ and ‘NIS’.

What is the meaning of NIS?

NIS stands for ‘Nigerian Industrial Standard’. This is the prefix given to all standards elaborated as Nigerian standards.

It is also included before other adapted or adopted national or international standards.

Is SON actually reducing the infiltration of sub-standard products in the market. ?

Yes. The mandatory ‘MANCAP’ and ‘SONCAP’ schemes ensures that both locally manufactured and imported products comply with the minimum applicable standard.

What is ISO and NIS certification?

ISO means ‘International Organisation for Standardisation’.
The ISO certification is awarded to a process, system, or person has met all the applicable requirement for a specific standard. A typical ISO certification is the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System (QMS).

The ‘NIS’ certification is the award given to locally manufactured product with consistently proving record of meeting standard requirements after passing through rigorous analytical process. The awardees of NIS mark are consistently monitored to ensure that they retain their quality level, otherwise, the award is withdrawn.

At what point can a company be eligible for the certification?

A company is eligible for certification if it can demonstrate that it has met all the criteria stated in a specific standard.

This will be verified through inspection or auditing of the process, system and/or person.

What is MANCAP and SONCAP?

MANCAP – Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme – A mandatory programme to which all locally manufactured products in Nigeria must comply with before the product can be allowed to be distributed to the market.

SONCAP – A mandatory off-shore conformity assessment programme to which all regulated importer product must comply with.

In which of the SON offices can one go for SONCAP related issues?

SON’s Headquarter, Abuja, Lagos and other SON Offices nationwide or visit www.soncap.com.

If I have NAFDAC registration no. do I still need SON’s registration number?

SON Product Registration scheme is mandatory for all SON’s regulated products as mandated by SON Act 56 of 1971, 20 of 1984, 18 of 1990 as amended.

This is irrespective of the registration done by NAFDAC.

Does SON have standard laboratories for testing products?
How does SON carry out inspection, Can it also inspect government owned organisation?

Yes – SON Act 56 of 1971, 20 of 1984, 18 of 1990 as amended empower her to carry out this function

What is Quality Management Systems?

A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution (production/development/service) in the core business area of an organization to meet customer’s requirements.

ISO 9001:2008 is an example of a Quality Management System.

How can a company be certified?

For a company to be certified, it must address all the requirements of the standard being certified to.

For QMS, all requirements of ISO 9001:2008 must be addressed, specifically must meet the ISO 9001 Documentation Requirements.

Why is SON not as popular as NAFDAC?

SON is very popular within the country. SON is also actively involved in safe-guarding the life and properties of consumers through various schemes which the importers and manufacturers are familiar with.

Is it proper for SON to charge money for her services?

YES – SON enabling Act empower her to charge for services rendered’

For all comparisons, tests or investigations performed by the Organisation under this Act, ….., a fee sufficient in each case to compensate the Organisation for the entire cost of the service rendered shall be charged according to a scale specified in rules made for that purpose by the Council.

Why do we still have sub-standards products in the market?

There are still substandard products in the market due to activities of some dishonest individual who smuggled substandard product into the country.

Some importers also deliberately request that foreign manufacturer manufacture products below standard specification for profit purpose.

SON is working to bring the level of substandard products to manageable level.

What is the role of SON in the establishment of SME’s?

SON play major roles in the development of SMEs through provision of training, standard specifications and advice of products improvement.

SON also have dedicated officer assigned to help in SMEs development and certification of their process.

Why is SON not at the ports like other agencies?

SON is presently close to all Ports of import.

SON is operating from outside the port following the directive of the Federal Government that all agencies should operate from outside the port, but should be called upon to participate in the clearance of regulated products.

It is the responsibility of consignees or the agent to notify SON of the clearance of SON’s regulated products at all ports of entry, failure to do this will attract stiff penalties.

How many laboratories does SON have, and where are they located?

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