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Section (5) of the SON Act No. 14 of 2015 stipulates that SON shall

  • Undertake investigation as necessary into the quality of facilities, systems, services, materials, and product, whether imported or manufactured in Nigeria.
  • Evaluate quality assurance activities, including certification of systems, products, and laboratories throughout Nigeria.
  • Establish an Import and Export Product Surveillance, Certification and Conformity Assessment Scheme.
  • Establish a mandatory conformity assessment programme for locally manufactured products in Nigeria.
  • Register and regulate standards, marks, and certification.
  • Undertake registration of all manufactured products distributed, marketed, and consumed throughout Nigeria.

Product Certification Department discharges some of the above by ensuring that locally manufactured, and imported products, in Nigeria comply with regulations and give the required degree of satisfaction to consumers through compliance with Government policies on standardization and conformity assessment.

The General aim is to ensure continual improvement on the quality of the products while collaborating effectively with all relevant stakeholders to build strong relationship for mutual benefits.

  • To encourage production of excellent quality products and healthy competition through consistent compliance to relevant standards.
  • To encourage continual improvement on quality of products and production processes by manufacturing industries in the country.
  • Promote global competitiveness among domestic manufacturers
  • Promote industrial/economic development by ensuring that Made-in-Nigeria products meet the requirements of the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards
  • To provide confidence to consumers that products purchased will not only meet intended use but will offer value for money.
  • Promote global acceptance of Made-in-Nigeria Products
  • Ensure that only products which conforms to specification are processed for importation into Nigeria
  • Encourage continual improvement on the quality of products in line with the statutory obligation of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria
  • To protect genuine manufacturers and importers from faking and substandard products
  • Ensure that precise information on policies and other regulatory requirements of its activities are available on the public domain

The Product Certification Department achieve the above objectives through the following, among other actions:

  • Management of the Certification, Conformity Assessment Schemes and Product Surveillance for all Import and Exports of regulated products in Nigeria
  • Certification of locally manufactured products processed through the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme
  • Monitoring the quality and Issuance of the certificates to imported products processed through the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP)
  • Registration of all products distributed, marketed, and consumed throughout Nigeria
  • Issuance of Product Authentication Marks to preventing counterfeiting

 

Product Certification Schemes

SON’s Product Certification schemes are third party assessments of products and processed to confirm conformance to requirements of the relevant specifications or standards.

There are five (5) main product certification schemes operated by the Organisation through the Product Certification Department:


Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP)

The Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) is a mandatory product certification scheme put in place by SON to ensure that all locally manufactured products in the country conform to the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) before such products are presented for sale in the market or exported.

Voluntary Product Certification Scheme (NIS Mark of Quality)

This is a voluntary product certification scheme to reward excellent product performance through consistent compliance to the requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards at the point of production and on the market.

Nigerian Quality Award Scheme (NQA)

The Nigerian Quality Award is a voluntary Award scheme to recognize and reward exceptional product performance through compliance with specific criteria and established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) approved by the SON Governing Council.

Product-Type Certification for Exports

This involves activities relating to issuance of Certificates of conformance to applicable standards or contractual documents for products to facilitate export trade. It applies to specific consignments meant for export by the applicant.

Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP)

The SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) entails pre-shipment verification of conformity assessment and certification, in line with SON ACT No.14 of 2015, Nigeria’s pre-shipment Inspection Act of 2004, and World Trade Organization (WTO) guidelines, of all SON regulated imported products. The SONCAP Division manages the processes and operations through interface with third-party Independent Accredited Firms (IAFs).


Functional Structure

The Product Certification Department comprises of the Office of the Director and four Divisions.

  1. Office of the Director, Product Certification Department
  2. SONCAP Division
  3. MANCAP Division
  4. Product Registration Division
  5. Product Authentication Mark Division

The Director, Product Certification Department is responsible for the general coordination of the Product Certification Department as well as the following:

  • Central coordination and Management of all activities of the Divisions within the Department
  • Recommending for approval all products processed through the MANCAP scheme
  • Management of the Independent Accredited Firms (IAFs) who are responsible for the offshore component of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP)
  • Management of the Consultant employed to issue the Product Authentication Mark (PAM)
  • Promote the digitalization and automation of the operations of the various Divisions
  • Review, in conjunction with the ICT Department, the Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools and infrastructure used by the Department and the Divisions to ensure suitability, ease of deploying, administrating, and monitoring of divisional activities.
  • Ensures the API integration of the software used by each divisions to achieve the objective of the department

The SONCAP Division is charged with the surveillance and monitoring of the conformance of imported product to SON regulatory requirements as mandated by the SON Act No. 14 of 2015.

 

The Division is responsible for the management of the utilisation of the Product Certificates and SONCAP Certificates, issued by the IAFs, for the processing of CBN FormM and the NCS PAAR, to serve as precursor to the actual cargo clearance process at the ports.

 

The Division is also responsible for managing the process for the issuance of Import Permit to bonafide manufacturers and to some selected non-commercial articles.

 

The objectives of the Division are as follows

  • Ensuring that precise information on the regulatory status of products is readily available on the public domain as well as instructions on how to access SON’s services
  • Ensuring that regulated products comply with the NIS or approved international standards prior to export to Nigeria.
  • Preventing the dumping of substandard goods in the Nigerian market
  • Facilitating trade by preventing delays in the processing of pre-shipment and pre-consignment arrival documentation
  • Facilitating smooth transmission of the Product Certificate and the SONCAP certificate to NICIS during the processing and clearance of imported regulated products
  • Facilitating trade through timely processing of SONCAP Import Permit
  • Ensure a maximum turn-around-time of 96 hours for the Issuance of Product Certificates, SONCAP Certificates, and SONCAP Import Permits, provided the client has met all application requirements

The MANCAP Division is responsible for the certification of locally manufactured products. The process involves inspection of production process, sampling and testing the products against the requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) to confirm compliance. The reports of inspections and test results are compiled at SON State Offices and forwarded to the MANCAP Division where review and evaluation is conducted and recommendation for SON Management approval made.

The Division is also responsible for recommending local certification framework, guidelines, evaluation criteria and maintain the database of MANCAP certified products.

MANCAP Division objectives include the following:

  • To ensure that all locally manufactured products that conformed to relevant Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) are certified.
  • To give consumers confidence that locally manufactured products are fit, safe and will meet intended use
  • To encourage fair competition and trade practices among local manufacturers thereby encouraging investment in Nigeria.
  • To prevent proliferation of unsafe and substandard products in Nigerian markets.
  • To ensure the issuance of MANCAP certificate and logo within 60days of receipt of application if products meet all relevant requirements.

The Product Registration Division is responsible for guaranteeing transparency and ensure importers and products traceability in the Nigerian market. The function helps in tracing perpetrators of substandard products and the detection of substandard, dangerous, and counterfeit products, as well as serves as barriers against the circulation of substandard goods.

The Division discharges this responsibilities through the registration and keeping the inventory of all importers and corresponding imported manufactured products distributed, marketed, and consumed throughout Nigeria, maintaining their database for traceability, and protecting the integrity of all products.

The Division is responsible for penetrating markets to promote standardisation as well as ensuring that products available to the consumers in the Nigerian market are documented and traceable to its source.

The Product Authentication Mark Division is charged with the responsibility for the management and issuance of Product Authentication Marks to products certified by SON.

The Division manages the process for ensuring that all imported regulated products sold in Nigeria are marked with multi-complex security stickers that will enable consumers of such products carry out an authentication for its genuineness to curb the influx of fake and substandard products in Nigeria.

The Division is also responsible for keeping record of the marks, the computation and invoicing of companies based on the quantity of marks issued and imposing sanctions for violation of PAM guidelines.

Objectives of PAM

  1. To provide assurance to Nigerian consumers on quality of products and guarantee value for money.
  2. To ensure effective control of non-complying products in the Nigerian markets.
  3. To promote a level playing field in the market for both locally manufactured and imported products.
  4. To protect genuine manufacturers and importers from faking and product adulteration by ensuring that only certified products are sold in the market.
  5. To enable consumers to verify real-time the genuineness of products before purchase.
  6. To improve product traceability and accountability of imported products.