The SONCAP program is under the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). SONCAP stands for the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program. It is a pre-shipment verification for good imported into Nigeria to make sure they conform to the standards of the NIS and other technical regulations.
The country of export will issue SONCAP Certificate (SC) after successful verification, testing to indicate compliance with standards. Non-Conformity Report (NCR) is issued for failed products. The procedure by SONCAP involves physically inspecting the products before shipping. Others are sampling, testing and analysis in accredited laboratories, audit of product processes and systems, and documentary check.
SONCAP use three major routes for conformity assessment process depending on the risk, safety and the product’s effect on health:
- Route A: For unregistered/Unlicensed products (Conformity Verification)
- Route B: For Registered Products (Registration and Conformity Inspection)
- Route C: For Licensed products (Product Certification Systems)
Each of these routes involves three major steps: Issuing of Product Certificate 1 for Unregistered Status), Product Certificate 2 for Registered Status or Product Certificate 3 for Licensed Status. Then followed by Test Report, and Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to be issued by the IAF after successful test report and satisfactory good verification. All SONCAP registration and Certificate activation can be done in their portal here.
There are fees to be paid for different certificates. They include:
- Product Certificate 1 – $300
- Product Certificate 2 – $300
- Product Certificate 3 – $1,300
- Certificate of Conformity – $300
- Non Conformity Report – $350
A SONCAP import permit is granted by the DG of SON to exempt certain regulated products from certification.
Six International Accreditation Firms (IAFs) help SON perform the SONCAP scheme: Bureau Veritas GSIT SAS (BV), Intertek, China Certification and Inspection Group (CCIC), Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) SA, Cotecna Inspection Limited SA, and China Standard Inspection Company Limited (CSIC).
SONCAP Regulated Products
Some products under SONCAP regulation are:
- Toys (video games, electronic toys, baby trolley, gymnastic and fitness products, etc.)
- Electricals and electronics (power transformers, solar-powered appliances, power generators, humidifiers, projectors, sewing machines, electric irons, microwaves, room heaters, etc.)
- Automotive (vehicle tyres and tubes, vehicle tyres, used motor vehicles, vehicle spare parts, etc.)
- Chemical products (fertilizers, condom and contraceptives, baby nappies, sanitary pads, safety matches, feeding bottles, flexible PVC flooring etc.)
- Mechanical material and gas appliances (water taps and valves, ceramic products, key and locks, cement and gypsum, pressure cookers, gas cylinders, air compressors, kerosene stoves, roofing sheets, etc)
- Paper and Stationery (paper, writing materials like pen, pencil, crayon, correction fluid, etc.)
- Protective safety equipment (e.g. helmet, fire extinguisher, electronic security equipment or alarm)
However, some products are exempted from the regulation of the SONCAP program. The SONCAP exempted list are:
- Food products
- Drugs (Medicines)
- Medicals other than equipment and machines
- Chemicals used as raw material by bona fide manufacturers
- Military wares & equipment
- Goods classified as contraband by the Federal Government of Nigeria
- Used products other than automobiles
How to register products with the SON
In order to register your products with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, you have to follow these procedures:
- Visit the official website of the SON here
- On the home page, you will see “e-product registration”, click on it, and then “continue”
- If you are registering a new company, click “New Account”, input your RC/Business number (i.e. RC1234) and a working email address. Select “Sign Up”.
- Check your email inbox. A password will be sent to you.
- You can now “Sign in” using the RC Number, email address and password.
- A new page will be loaded where you provide some details about your business. After filling the information, click “Continue”.
- At this stage, a payment will be required. Print the RRR and go to the bank to make the remita payment.
- After successful payment, refer back to the website of the SON, and click on “e-Product Payment”. Type in your payment details.
You will now upload the required documents in JPEG or PDF. The documents should be less than 30kb each.
- CAC certificate
- Picture of the product
- Power of attorney (for importers)
- Manufacturer’s agreement (for importers)
- Trademark certificate (for manufacturers or importers with brand name).