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  • What is the validity period for the certificate?

    One Year

  • How do I know when my certificate is ready?

    SON will contact you

  • Is Product Registration Certificate same as Product Certificate?

    No, it is not the same.

    Product Certificate is associated with SONCAP Certificate, while Product Registration Certificate is issued after the

    completion of product registration processes

  • Do I have to come to SON Lekki office to make enquiries or register my products?

    We have desk offices in ASPAMDA, Alaba, Computer Village, Ikeja/Aluminium village, Dopemu in Lagos and in every state office of SON nationwide.

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  • What is Life Endangering Products?

    The is a product that can have adverse effect on human life if they are not of good quality e.g Electric cables, LPG

    Cylinders, Electric bulbs, Engine oil, Tyres etc

  • What is the duration of the registration processes?

    Six weeks from payment to the issuance of Certificate

  • What are the documents required before you can register your products?

    » a. CAC Registration

    » b. Trademark Certificate

    » c. Letter of Authority to distribute the products in Nigeria

    » d. Application Form.

    » e. Laboratory Test Result

    » f. Evidence of payment (TSA receipt)

  • For import of photocopying papers of five rims/carton. Are stamps put on carton or rim?

    Stamps shall be affixed on each rims.

    Fees: N3/stamp

    Turnaround time: 3 days upon approval of request and payment.

  • Are the stamps applicable to petroleum/lubricant industries?

    Yes, it applies to all finished and packaged petroleum and lubricant products for sales.

  • Do bulk imports of fertilizer and cement require PAM stamps?

    Yes, re-packaged fertilizer and cement by importer into small bags for sale will require the use of MANCAP PAM stamps.

  • Where will stamps be applied, at the warehouse or port of entry?

    Affixing of PAM stamps should be after clearance but before offer for sale. The fixing should be at the warehouse.

  • In case stamps are not issued on time due to technicalities, how will SON ensure that there is no delay at the port of entry?

    Stamps don’t form clearance trail, it is after port clearance that stamps should be affixed. However, application for PAM stamps must be submitted before SON final clearance

  • Do raw materials require PAM stickers?

    No, stickers are applied to items that will sell at a retail outlet.

  • In case stamps are not issued on time due to technicalities, how will SON ensure that there is no delay at the port of entry?

    Stamps don’t form clearance trail, it is after port clearance that stamps should be affixed. However, application for PAM stamps must be submitted before SON final clearance.

  • How do we handle imported products that have no SONCAP certificate?

    The test report used to clear the goods at the point of entry will form the basis of issuance of PAM stamps and the importer will be required to submit the test report, packing list and receipt of payment of the requisite penalties for goods that are subject to destination inspection

  • What happens to products that do not have the PAM stamps at point of sales after moratorium period?

    Goods that were imported with valid SONCAP Certificate prior to commencement of the programme can still apply for the PAM stamps.

  • What happens to products without PAM and are still in the market?

    Moratorium period will be given to them.

  • How is the mark applied?

    The mark/sticker is applied on each and every product to ensure traceability and tracking and shall not be defaced in any way to ensure legibility and conspicuousness. They may be applied by hand or using suitable applicators.

  • How is the mark issued?

    The marks are issued as stickers that are specific to each product. These stickers bear security features plus a QR Code that a smart phone is able to scan and are to be issued in the same quantities commensurate to the production units.

  • What is the application fee for PAM?

    The cost of each sticker is N3.00

  • When is PAM issued?

    The mark is issued upon application by the manufacturer or importer having paid the application fee.

  • What is product Authentication mark (PAM)?

    This is a mark of quality that is affixed on all products to demonstrate their conformity to approved standards.

  • What are the gains of the SONCAP scheme?

    Some of the gains of the SONCAP programme include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Ensuring that regulated products comply with the NIS or approved international standards prior to export to Nigeria.
    • Providing a level playing field in terms of quality for both Imported and locally manufactured products to prevent unfair trade practices and unfair competition with substandard.
    • Ease trade in Nigeria by preventing delays in clearance of Imported products at Nigerian Ports and Borders, and all Customs Entry Points and Terminals where consignments are being processed for clearance
    • Ease trade in Nigeria by fast-tracking clearance via pre-shipment document submission, Inspections, and pre-consignment arrival clearance document processing.
    • Preventing the dumping of substandard goods in the Nigerian market and in turn, preventing economic loss to the genuine importers and the nation at large.
    • Forestalling any adverse reaction (such as environmental pollution occasioned by destruction of substandard products) by regulatory Agencies on arrival of such goods in Nigeria.
    • Encouraging genuine investors and investment in Nigeria.
    • Promoting MANCAP certified Made in Nigeria products by ensuring conformity to Standards of imported products.

    Conserving foreign exchange by regulating the importation of regulated products.

  • Do I have to repeat the same process each time I want to import?

    Yes, as SONCAP certificate is consignment specific

  • What next now that I have agreed to conform to the SONCAP scheme?
    • Register and activate FIRS TIN on the national trade portal trade.gov.ng
    • Process the PC through any of the IAF
    • Apply for CBN FormM and attach the PC
    • Process the SC through the chosen IAF
    • Apply for NCS PAAR and attach the SC
    • Process NCS SGD
  • Why am I being denied SONCAP Import Permit for my commercial imports?

    The Import Permit Import permit is only issued to exempt certain categories of imports of regulated products from offshore certification. Such categories include imported Industrial Machinery, project specific items, Humanitarian/Charitable items and other of non-commercial products.

    All other products must be certified as meeting the requirements of application standard; thus, all other products must process PC

  • Why are manufacturers who are members of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria issued lower service charge for the importation of some articles?

    SON and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote economic and industrial growth of local industries.

    Thus, local manufacturers have been given special services charges when processing the SONCAP Import Permit to import raw materials, packaging Materials and production machinery.

  • How do I print my import permit or PAAR certificate from the dashboard
    • By browsing through the relevant sections of my experience after login to the SONCAP portal.

    The certificate can also be viewed and downloaded after it has been successfully attached to the FormM or PAAR on the tradeportal

  • How do I update my TIN details?

    Through liaison with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The FIRS is responsible for the issuance and management of the TIN

  • How do I process an import permit?

    To process SONCAP Import Permit, an applicant must register as an Importer on the SONCAP Portal through the link https://soncap.son.gov.ng/

  • What is the lifespan of the certificate

    Lifespan of a certificate is a maximum of 12 months after which the payment is deemed utilized and the certificate no longer valid

  • Is SONCAP Import Permit service charge one-off payment, or do I have to pay all over again whenever I import

    Payment for SONCAP Import Permit is one-off.

  • Why three working days before approval/rejection?

    This is the maximum turnaround time approved to process these items in line with the implementation of SON’s ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria

  • Is it possible to process consignment clearance without having TIN?

    No, the TIN is the basis for identifying importer during the importation and clearance of goods in Nigeria

  • I am importing on behalf on a government organisation do I still pay?

    Importation made directly by the FG is entitled to concession. However, all importation made using the name of contractor or private entities shall be processed in line with the procedure for processing SONCAP Import Permit without concession

  • Can I change the TIN on an activated certificate?

    No, you can’t

  • Can I change the TIN on my registered account?

    No, you can’t

    Certificate issued on a TIN is not transferable

  • I'm bringing in items donated to charity, do I need SONCAP Certificate?

    Every article coming to Nigeria, even donated items, must possess evidence of conformity to applicable requirements. This is provided for by using the SONCAP Certificate to ensure that the item of import complies with the Federal Government regulations guiding the importation of products.

    For donated items, the NGO may apply for SONCAP Import Permit. The application shall be processed in line with the guideline for processing the importation of donated non-commercial articles

  • Can I be exempted from paying SONCAP Import Permit service charges?

    Exemptions are granted only under special conditions for relief items imported by International NGO, charity organisations and for personal articles imported by diplomatic missions. However, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria is obligated to ensure that items being imported are safe for use and fit for purpose

  • I can't access my email what do I do?

    Before creating an account as an importer on the SONCAP App, it is advisable to register with a valid and accessible email address and phone number.

    SON cannot assist any client who may has lost access to the registered email. The solution is to recover the registered email address or to create another account using another email address

  • I want to use my Import Permit for FormM to process PAAR Certificate, but I cannot trace it on the portal

    The Import Permit for processing FormM has a validity of 12 months, after which it becomes invalid.

    This is a control measure as a PFI validity is usually no longer than three months after which the value therein is no longer valid, thus, an IMP validity is to correlate with the PFI validity.

    For cautionary reason, every FormM IMP should have been utilized to process CBN FormM within six months after issuance

  • Must I have a TIN before I can start the SONCAP application process?

    Yes, you must

  • Can I change the contact email or phone number associated with my account on SONCAP portal?

    No, you cannot

  • I have a valid Import Permit for processing FormM, why is my PAAR Certificate activation request being rejected?

    PAAR activation can be rejected for a combination of reasons, namely:

    • HS code and number of items approved for the PC differ from that now being declared during PAAR activation
    • The number of items declared during PAAR activation is more than the number approved on the PC
    • The value of the articles declared during PAAR activation is more than the value declared and approved on the PC
    • The required document(s) were not attached, or not on the approved format.
      • FormM
      • Final Invoice
      • Bill Lading
      • NSA EUC

    Other approvals

  • How much does it cost to apply for SONCAP Import Permit?

    Demand Note values are determined using any combination of the following criteria:

    • 5% FOB subject to a minimum of #550,000.00
    • Item of Import, hs code and their use
    • Availability of alternative locally
    • Terms on the SON-MAN MOU for members of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
    • MANCAP certification status of the product whose raw material is being imported

    Special charges as approved by SON’s Management

  • How long does it take to obtain SONCAP Import Permit?
    • Issuance of Demand Note – 3 Working Days
    • Activation of Import Permit to NICIS Portal – 3 Working Days
    • Activation of Import Permit for PAAR- 3 Working Days (Note: All Pre-Arrival Assessment Report Applications must be carried out at the time of departure of consignments to Nigeria. Any application for PAAR for goods already at Nigerian Ports and Borders will be termed as default and penalized accordingly.
  • What is SONCAP Import Permit?

    The SONCAP Import permit is issued to exempt certain categories of imports of regulated products from offshore certification (SONCAP).

    Such categories include raw materials, packaging, and Industrial Machinery imported by Bonafide manufacturers imported

    Bonafide manufacturers who intend to import machinery, raw materials, and packaging materials to produce SON regulated products, are advised to apply to the SONCAP Division SONCAP Import Permit (equivalent to the Product Certificate) to enable them optimize production, save time and cost, and further participation in the MANCAP scheme.

    Other articles permitted under SONCAP Import Permit are Project specific items, Humanitarian/Charitable items and other of non-commercial products.

    • Import Permit is issued after evaluation of the importer, import documents, intent of importation, and permit verification inspection (pre or post import) by SON
    • All the above forms the basis for the approval or denial of application, under the directive of the Director General
    • All commercial items and articles for subsequent sale and distribution are to be processed through the SONCAP Product certification route to ensure conformity to standard, fitness for purpose, and safety
  • What products are exempted from the SONCAP scheme?

    The following items are exempted from SONCAP Offshore certification scheme

    • Food products.
    • Medicines
    • Medicals, other than equipment and machines.
    • Chemicals, used as raw materials by bonafide manufacturer, to produce food products and medicines (note that some chemicals whose usage also extend to other industrial purposes aside Food and medicines are regulated by SON)
    • Goods clarified as contraband by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
    • Used products, other than automobiles (refurbished and re-engineered commercial article must process Import Permit)

    The exemption of some products from the SONCAP Offshore scheme does not translates to some of these articles not being regulated by SON.

    Importation of some sensitive, high risk, life-endangering and associated products, are mandated to be processed through special license issued by the Director General/Chief Executive (SON). In such circumstances, the importer will be guided on the importation process.

  • Is it possible to process SONCAP certificates without a FIRS issues Tax Identification Number?

    No.

    One of the key requirement for processing SONCAP and Import Permits is the FIRS Tax Identification Number (TIN). This TIN must be registered for trade on the tradeportal before it can be used to process any of SON’s clearance certificate

  • What is the validity period of PC and SC?
    • Products Certificate (PC1) – Unregistered /Unlicensed (Conformity verification) – valid for six months and for single use
    • Product Certificate (2) (Registered Status) – valid for 12 Months (One Year) multiple use
    • Product Certificate (PC3) (Licensed Status) – valid for 12 months (one year) multiple use

    Lifespan of a SONCAP certificate is tied to a specific consignment using the Bill lading, Final Invoice and associated document.

  • Can one apply for SONCAP certificate after the consignment has left the country of origin? What is the penalty of not conforming to the SONCAP scheme prior to my consignment arriving in the country?

    No.

    The SONCAP is an offshore and pre-shipment certification scheme, thus, cannot be processed after the consignment has left the country of origin. What is applicable at this stage is the SONCAP Default which shall be charged at 20% CIF of the consignment or #2 m, whichever is higher

  • Is it possible to use one SONCAP Certificate to clear multiple consignments?

    No.

    SONCAP Certificate is only limited to processing a single PAAR consignment and issued to only one entity

  • How long does it take to process SONCAP certificate?

    SCs are generated within 96 Hours considering all time zones.

    However, SC’s can be generated within 24 Hours subject to the following fulfillments:

    • All Qualifying documents and Test Reports are submitted within a reasonable time frame.
    • All products comply to applicable standard requirements.
  • How much does it cost to apply for SONCAP certificate?

    $350.00 per certificate

  • How much does it cost to apply for SONCAP Product certificate?
    • Product Certificate 1 (Unregistered Status) = $500
    • Product Certificate 2 (Registered Status) = $1000
    • Product Certificate 3 (Licensed Status) = $2,000
    • New Product $350
    • Certificate amendment fee = $100
    • Non-conformity Report $350.00
  • How long does it take to process SONCAP Product certificate?

    PCs are generated within 96 Hours considering all time zones.

    However, PC’s can be generated within 24 Hours subject to the following fulfillments:

    • All Qualifying documents and Test Reports are submitted within a reasonable time frame.

    All products comply to applicable standard requirements.

  • Who are the IAFs

    The IAFs are the Independent Accredited Firms (IAFs) engaged to conduct offshore Conformity Assessment, on behalf of Standards Organisations of Nigeria, to address the challenges of the incessant influx of substandard and unsafe products into the country. They also issue test reports, Product and SONCAP certificates from accredited laboratories.

  • What is the meaning of HS code?

    The Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, also known as the Harmonised System (HS) of tariff nomenclature is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers to classify traded products.

    The Harmonized System is used by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria as mechanism for the identification, modification and implemention of regulatory control over all products. The Nigeria Customs Service also use it to implement duties and taxes on products, and for gathering statistics

  • What is the SC?

    The SONCAP Certificate (SC) is used to process the PAAR for the clearance of goods from any Nigerian port. The SC is issued to an importer, whose details are stated on the SONCAP certificate

  • What is the PC?

    The product certificate (PC) is the first certificate issued during the SONCAP certification process, which represent conformities of products to quality requirements. It is used in the opening of the CBN Form M, or other CBN document for processing importation, to enable importation into Nigeria. The PC is issued to the exporter, as only his details are stated on the certificate

  • What and what is involved in the processing of SONCAP certification?

    Under the SONCAP regime, imports are required to undergo verification and testing at country of supply (Exporting country) any of the approved Independent Accredited Firms (IAFs), and a SONCAP Certificate (SC) is issued to demonstrate that the products have met the applicable standards and regulations, or a Non-Conformity Report (NCR) is issued where the goods do not comply.

    The conformity assessment elements undertaken in SONCAP include, but not limited, to physical inspection prior to shipment, sampling, testing and analysis in accredited laboratories, audit of product processes and systems, and documentary check of conformity with regulations and overall assessment of conformity to standards

    Under this programme, importers of regulated products must obtain two certificates to process the importation and clearance of the goods.

    • Product Certificate (PC), either unregistered, registered, or licensed
    • SONCAP Certificate (SC)

    The Product Certificate and the SONCAP Certificate are mandatory for the processing of Form M and Nigerian Customs’ clearance of SON regulated goods respectively under the import requirements of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

  • Why do I need SONCAP Certificate for my import to Nigeria?

    The SONCAP scheme is designed to protect Nigerian consumers from unsafe and substandard imported finished products, to ensure that imported products meet the specifications of acceptable standards while ensuring easier monitoring by responsible agencies.

    Any regulated products that find its way Nigeria without the SONCAP certificate is in violation of extant regulation and shall be subject to detention, testing and possible destruction at the expense of the importer.

  • What is SONCAP?

    The SONCAP is an offshore and pre-shipment certification scheme to monitor, check and control the importation of regulated products into Nigeria. It comprises of a set of conformity assessment and verification procedure applicable to all SON regulated products imported into Nigeria.

    The Federal Government of Nigeria introduced the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) address the number of unsafe products entering the country and to eliminate their subsequent risks to public health and safety.

    The scheme employs four mandatory processes of verification of product quality to meet specification standards such as NIS, International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), and International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) among others.

    The processes are:

    • Product Certificate 1 (otherwise known as PC1 or Unregistered)
    • Product Certificate 2 (otherwise known as PC2 or Registered Status)
    • Product Certificate 3 (otherwise known as PC3 or Licensed Status)
    • SONCAP Certificate (also known as SC)

    These documents are mandatory for importation and Customs clearance of SONCAP regulated goods, as stipulated in the revised Import Guidelines, under the import requirement of the Federal Government of Nigeria

  • What is the validity period of Product-type certificate

    One (1) year.

    The country of destination of the products and the country / customer specification or requirement is also stated on the certificate

  • What is Product-type certification

    It is a certification for products for export based on the destination country or customer requirements

  • How do I apply for MANCAP fast track

    Contact the nearest SON State Office to be guided.

  • What is MANCAP fast track?

    MANCAP fast track is not a certification but verification exercise to ascertain production and quality assurance capability of companies/factories after which MANCAP logo with number is issued for 6months period. This is to facilitate trade and encourage MSMEs.

    It is expected that MANCAP certification would be completed within the 6months period.

  • Can I export my products with MANCAP certificate?

    Yes.

    MANCAP certified products can be export to any West African country.

  • What happens within the 3years validity?

    SON State Office covering the area/state will be conducting inspection of your factory on quarterly basis

  • After 3years what next?

    Recertification / Revalidation of the certificate and a new one is issued.

  • For how long is MANCAP certificate valid?

    Three (3) years

  • How much do I pay for the MANCAP certification?

    The certification fees and inspection charges are as published and can be obtained at SON State Offices nationwide.

  • How long does it take to obtain MANCAP?

    It takes 60days from the receipt of MANCAP applications at the MANCAP Division office if all the requirements are met

  • What do I get at the of MANCAP certification?

    The MANCAP certificate and logo is issued at the end of the certification. The MANCAP logo has unique identification number and can be affixed on each unit of the products or on the label

  • How many inspections will be conducted before MANCAP certification?

    Minimum of two quarterly inspections are required and the product/products must conform with all the requirements of relevant Nigerian Industrial Standard.

  • What documents do I need to submit with completed application?

    CAC certificate of incorporation, on-the-spot test report (SON laboratory test report or test report form IPAN accredited laboratory is required if on-the-spot test is not comprehensive), copy of payments for the purchase of MANCAP form and MANCAP certification.

  • How do I apply for MANCAP certification of my products?

    Contact nearest SON State Office for enquiry and obtain the application form

  • What is MANCAP

    MANCAP means Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme. It is a product certification scheme for locally manufactured products in Nigeria conducted by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria as prescribed in the SON Act 14 of 2015.

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

    Click here to read more about SON Laboratories

  • 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.

  • Why is SON not at the ports like other agencies?

    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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • What are Management Systems Standards

    Management Systems Standards are sets of policies, processes, and procedures required for planning and execution (production/development/service) in the core business area of an organization to meet customers’ requirements.

    ISO 9001 2015 is an example of a Quality Management System.

  • 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

  • Does SON have standard laboratories for testing products?
  • 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.

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

    SON’s Headquarter, Abuja, Lagos and other SON Offices nationwide

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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’.

  • Is SON a private or a government organisation?

    SON is a Federal Government agency.

  • What is SON?

    SON stands for ‘Standards Organisation of Nigeria’.

    Click here to read more about SON