IMPORTATION DOCUMENTS: HOW TO PROCESS SONCAP NIGERIA

IMPORTATION DOCUMENTS: HOW TO PROCESS SONCAP NIGERIA

The importation documents required to import goods into the Nigeria logistics space is dependent on the type or nature of goods. Thus, importers of goods are advised to check which importation documents are needed in their case. If the item is SON regulated for instance, the importer is to have for every consignment a SON Product Certificate (PC) and a SONCAP Certificate (SC). SON PC and SONCAP are issued by SON approved inspection agency. Approved agencies include SGS, INTERTEK, CCIC, and COTECNA. The PC is used to open Form M while the SC is used to raise the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR). In addition, some goods may require the SON import permit instead of SONCAP.

Consequently, this article will focus on SON Product Certificate and the SONCAP (Standard Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program). Future articles will treat SON import Permit, NESREA permit, NAFDAC and other forms of importation documents.

The PC/SC are processed and obtained by exporters in the Country of Supply of goods. The following three levels of Compliance discussed below will show how.

IMPORTATION DOCUMENTS: VERIFICATION OF CONFORMITY WITH SONCAP

1. ROUTE A – unregistered or unlicensed products (Verification of Conformity)

Using this route to process and obtain the SON PC is advised for irregular exports.

Step 1 – Issuance of SON Product Certificate (PC)

The SON Product Certificate (PC), is valid for six months. Unregistered PC is issued after inspection, sampling, testing to ascertain conformity applicable to Nigerian or similar International standards. Samples of goods for testing are drawn from the shipment at the time of shipment inspection. Unregistered PC is only valid for obtaining the SC for the applicable shipment only, and is not reusable.

Read Also: CBN FORM M AND PAAR REQUIREMENT IN BRIEF

Step 2 – Sample Testing

Firstly, the exporter will submit test report/documents issued from an accredited laboratory. In the absence of test reports, samples will be taken from the item(s) for testing. Testing of samples will always be based on verification as to applicable Nigeria, National or International standards.

Test Reports are acceptable only if issued by accredited ISO 17025 laboratories. Also, Manufacturer’s laboratory for testing witnessed by SON accredited agencies SGS, COTECNA, and INTERTEK is acceptable.

Step 3 – SONCAP Certificate (SC)

The SC is issued for the shipment following successful:

  • Request for SC form duly completed
  • Testing
  • Consignment Inspection and witness of stuffing and affixing of seals for Full Container Load (FCL)
  • Receipt of satisfactory final documents

Otherwise the shipment will be issued a Non Conformity Report (NCR).

2. ROUTE B – For Registered Products (Registration and Conformity Inspection)

Exporters or Manufacturers with frequent shipment to Nigeria, who have quality management system and who demonstrated an acceptable level of compliance during shipment verification in Route A are recommended to apply for Product Certification under Route B.

With this rout, products can be registered after:

  • Type testing of the products to determine conformity with the applicable standards
  • Assessment of the manufacturer’s quality system to ensure that the manufacturer has the necessary systems in place to produce consistently over a time the same quality product.
Step 1 – Product Certificate (Registered Status)

The Product Certificate (Registered Status), valid for one year, is issued upon satisfactory audit of the manufacturer’s factory.

Manufacturer/Exporter under route A could also be elevated to Route B based on a good compliance history.

Step 2 – Testing

Test Reports issued by an accredited laboratory or the manufacturer (witnessed by SGS, INTERTEK, and COTECNA) are provided.

Selective testing of samples from shipments will also be conducted by the chosen SON agency as per the SONCAP guidelines.

Step 3 – SONCAP Certificate (SC)

The SC is issued for the shipment following:

  • Request for SC form duly completed
  • Submission of a valid Product Registration
  • Selective Shipment Inspection with the witnessing of stuffing and affixing of seals for Full Container Load (FCL)
  • Receipt of satisfactory final documents

Otherwise the shipment will be issued a Non Conformity Report (NCR).

3. ROUTE C – For Licensed products (Product Certification Systems)

Manufacturers who have regular shipments to Nigeria and/or those who have demonstrated an excellent level of compliance under Route B are qualified to apply for Product Licensing under Route C.

  • Salient Features
  • Product evaluation and licensing to applicable standards
  • Selective Consignment Inspection
  • Witness of stuffing and affixing of seals for Full Container Load (FCL)

Licensing of products is based on:

  • Detailed product evaluation (including testing)
  • Factory audit and regular surveillances
Step 1 – Product Certificate (Licensed Status)

Product Certificate (Licensed Status), valid for one year, is issued upon satisfactory audit of the manufacturer’s factory.

Manufacturers under Route B could be elevated to Route C based on good compliance history.

Step 2 – Testing

Test Reports provided are acceptable as long as these are issued by an approved laboratory or the manufacturer (witnessed by SON approved agents).These should be for every product within the scope of the licensed Product Certificate.

Step 3 – SONCAP Certificate (SC)

The SC is issued for the shipment following:

  • Request for SC form duly completed
  • Submission of a valid Product License
  • Valid test reports
  • Selective Shipment Inspection
  • Receipt of satisfactory final documents

Otherwise the shipment will be issued a Non Conformity Report (NCR).

PC / SC e-Portal Online Activation

The Product Certificate (PC) and SONCAP Certificate (SC) are issued and sent to SON from SGS, INTERTEK or COTECNA platform. The importer must activate the certificates on SON activation link, to make it visible to the single window trade portal so that it can be seen by the Customs. The activation launches the certificates into the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) system and allows you to proceed with form m as described in one of my articles. The following steps will see to the activation:

For PC:

1. Click here to activate the Product Certificate before use.

2. Login or create an account. Click on the Apply to Activate Product Certificate button.

3. Complete the form by inputting the Certificate Number, the Importer Name, the TIN Number and the Importer Phone Number

4. Click on the SUBMIT button.

After completion of the process, a pop-up message will confirm activation.

5. Proceed with the Form M process. See my article on how to process form m.

For SC:

1. Click here to activate the SONCAP for PAAR

2. Login and click on the Apply to Activate SONCAP Certificate/Import Permit button

3. Under Type of Activation, select SONCAP Activation for PAAR from the drop-down list

4. Complete the form by inputting the SONCAP/Certificate Number, the Importer Name, the TIN Number and the Importer Phone Number

5. Click on the SUBMIT button.

A pop-up message will confirm activation.

6. Proceed with the PAAR processing.

IMPORTATION DOCUMENTS: FEES FOR SONCAP

The fees related to issuance of Product and SONCAP Certificates are borne by the Seller/Exporter based on the following scales:

  • Product Certificate (Unregistered): USD 300
  • The Product Certificate (Registered): US$300
  • Product Certificate (Licensed): USD 1,300
Notes:
  • Addition of models in the same certificate covered in the same Test Report are charged at an additional USD 5 per month per model. This translates to USD 60 per annum per model.
  • The Cost of new Product is USD 300
  • Amendment fee is USD 100
  • The maximum validity of a Product Certificate (Unregistered) is six (6) months and issued per shipment.
  • The Maximum Validity of a Product certificate (Registered or Licensed is One (1) year from the date of the laboratory Test Report.

HOW VAGMON INTEGRATED SERVICES CAN HELP

Vagmon Integrated Services is here to help you from zero level to the delivery of your shipment at the destination of choice. We will guide you from the point of knowing the kind of importation documents required to the processing of SONCAP. Furthermore, we work to ensure smoothest cargo delivery at the destination of interest.

Read Also: EXPORTATION LICENCE: GOODS FOR EXPORT

CONCLUSION:

SON PC/SONCAP is a required document for importation into Nigeria. However, the SONCAP process is not the only route available for importation of goods. I will treat SON Import Permit and NESREA Permit in my next articles. Now go ahead and use the activated SON PC and SONCAP for Form M and PAAR respectively.

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5 comments

  1. Good site for existing and prospective importers. With this one can conveniently import without much delay usually caused by improper documentation.
    I love this site, highly educative.

  2. This site is recommended for undergraduate and graduate alike who have ambition in going into Maritime business. Keep it Up!

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