SONCAP questions require good answers. Firstly, why do people ask so many SONCAP questions? Secondly, are there answers to SONCAP QUESTIONS that people raise? Thirdly, where can they find reliable, up-to-date answers to such questions? Let us spare some time to answer these four questions before delving deep into the questions people ask on SONCAP.
WHY SO MANY QUESTIONS?
First time importers or exporters to Nigeria often meet with surprise down the value chain. The reason for such surprises are various in nature. From our years of experience in dealing with importers and exporters in the Nigerian space, we can group the reasons below.
- Ignorance or failure to do proper consultation before beginning to export or import
- Outright rejection of advice from Customs Brokers
- Nonconformity to standard
- Following a wrong advice from poor logistics handlers
- Avoiding costs of permits and licenses, etc.
Consequently, these has resulted to so much questions around the SONCAP. Most of these questions are often late in the value chain. Thus, many have paid heavily for penalties.
ARE THERE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON SONCAP?
The internet world is a free world, and is generous to all inhabitants. Hence, many, if not almost all questions in any field of human endeavor are answered in the internet. However, as the saying goes “too many cooks spoils the broth” there are many junks online. Some answers on SONCAP are out of date. Others are incorrect. Still, others are out-rightly misleading.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND RELIABLE, UP-TO-DATE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT SONCAP?
To be frank, the best way to know more about a thing is to ask the maker. SONCAP is a creation of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). Hence, no one could claim more mastery of SONCAP than SON could. Therefore, if you ask me, my answer is check SON website to begin. In addition, however, there is a saying in Nigeria that ‘if you do not want to miss road, follow who knows the road’
Vagmon e-Grup & Logistics ltd is highly intelligent cargo clearance agency in Nigeria that is tech savvy. We have so many years’ experience in dealing with SON and other regulatory agencies of government. As a result, we are up-to-date with changes and innovation around the SONCAP. Therefore, you will not miss road if you follow us. Why not contact us today, for SONCAP and cargo handling issues and focus on other company matters?
SONCAP QUESTIONS; ANSWERS THAT WORK
This is probably the most important part of this piece of writing. What we like to do in this section is to present the frequently asked questions on SONCAP and give up-to-date answers. Read on, feel free to reach us for additional question you have about the SONCAP. Our primary goal is to inform the public, and we take pleasure in doing just that.
WHAT IS SONCAP?
SONCAP is an acronym and stands for Standards Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program. SONCAP confirms the compliance with standard of all items traded to Nigeria. Consistence to the prerequisites of SONCAP is pertinent as well as any current import measures. In January 2013, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) formally delivered another SONCAP cycle with a much reexamined compliance evaluation structure. The primary purpose of SONCAP is to regulate products entering into Nigeria. Hence, SONCAP will guarantee that all products are safe for public health.
IS SONCAP THE SAME AS SON PRODUCT CERTIFICATE (PC)?
Most importers confuse the SONCAP to SON product certificate. SON product certificate is not the same as SONCAP. Expressed concisely in the following way are the differences between both SON certifications.
- SON product certificate is for processing of Form M, while SONCAP is for processing PAAR.
- Product certificate is not Customs clearance document, whereas SONCAP is a clearing document.
- SON product certificate if registered can be reusable for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months as applicable. SONCAP is per shipment, and is not reusable for another shipping.
- Product certificate is shareable with authorization or power of attorney. SONCAP cannot be shareable among importers.
DO I NEED SON PC/SONCAP FOR MY IMPORT?
In principle, almost all goods imported into Nigeria requires SON product certificate and subsequently the SONCAP. However, there are a few products regulated solely by NAFDAC and other agencies. Those kind of goods are exempt from SONCAP. To know more about goods exempt from SONCAP, read our article for SONCAP EXEMPTED PRODUCTS: HOW TO IMPORT.
To answer the question of whether you need SONCAP or not, we will pose more questions. First, we like to ask; do you need Form M? If your answer is yes, then you need a SON product certificate to begin with. If you use a product certificate to get Form M, you will most likely need SONCAP for PAAR.
Therefore, the next question is will you be doing PAAR document. You will need PAAR for containerized goods for sure. For less than container loads, the decision rest with you to do PAAR or clear goods by direct assessment. Additionally, used cars do not require Form M, and consequently, no SON product certificate and SONCAP.
Less I forget SON product certificate is almost becoming unavoidable for imports to Nigeria. This is because strict CBN rules will not allow anyone pay for goods abroad without presenting a registered Form M. This rule is irrespective of whether you are paying for used vehicles or small item, Form M is a prerequisite. The only escape route is to ask someone to pay for goods from abroad.
IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO SON PC AND SONCAP?
In the affirmative, the answer is yes. The alternative to SON PC/SONCAP is SON import permit. SON Import Permit is both PC and SONCAP in one stream. To know more about import permit, read our article for SON IMPORT PERMIT NIGERIA: HOW TO PROCESS PERMIT.
MUST I DO SON PC/SONCAP EACH TIME I IMPORT?
The answer to this question is not a straight yes or no. What do we mean? If you do a registered SON Product certificate, you can reuse it for same item and same supplier for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months as applicable. Thus, if you buy same product from another supplier, you definitely need another product certification. Understand that it is the product that is certified, not the importer. SONCAP is not reusable, and must be per shipment.
SONCAP questions people ask are enormous. Therefore, the article for answers that work on questions people ask about SONCAP is inconclusive. We are happy to welcome more and more questions from our ardent readers. Thus, this article will remain ever evolving.
As if in a summary, virtually all goods imported to Nigeria require SON PC and SONCAP, except a few. SON PC is not SONCAP. PC is usable for Form M, and is not a Customs clearance document. SONCAP is to generate pre-arrival assessment report – PAAR. SON PC can be reusable, whereas SONCAP is OTP. Furthermore, SON import permit is a good alternative to SON PC/SONCP.
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