Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do SON and SONCAP stand for?

SON and SONCAP stand respectively for the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program.

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2. What are the objectives and benefits of the SONCAP program for Nigeria?

As stated on the SONCAP website, the objectives are for the wellbeing, health and safety of Nigerian consumers, as follows:

  • Ensure that regulated products comply with the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) or approved standards prior to export to Nigeria
  • Provide a level playing field in terms of quality for both regulated and locally manufactured products in order to prevent unfair competition
  • Prevent the dumping of substandard goods into the Nigeria market and as a result preventing economic loss to the importer and the nation at large
  • Impede loss of lives and property including foreign exchange bearing in mind that the exporting country/Exporter have been paid for the goods shipped into Nigeria
  • Forestall any adverse reaction (such as environmental pollution occasioned by destruction of substandard products) by regulatory Agencies on arrival of such goods in Nigeria
  • Facilitate trade through fast track clearance of goods at the ports
  • Encourage genuine investors and investments in Nigeria
  • Promote made in Nigeria products
  • Conserve foreign exchange

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3. Which products are covered by the SONCAP program?

There are 14 categories of products subject to the SONCAP program:

  1. Toys
  2. Electrical and electronic products
  3. Vehicles, spare parts and accessories
  4. Personal hygiene products and cleaning agents
  5. Chemicals
  6. Cosmetics, personal hygiene products and cleaning agents
  7. Household hardware
  8. Kitchenware and vacuum ware
  9. Household burning fuels appliances
  10. Construction products
  11. Paper and stationery
  12. Personal protective equipment
  13. Textile and footwear
  14. Furniture
  15. Used products

Search in our product list to find out if your product is subject to the SONCAP program and whether you need a SONCAP Certificate (SC).

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4. Who has to demonstrate compliance with the SONCAP program and how that can be done?

Exporters to Nigeria must demonstrate compliance with the program. This applies only to goods subject to the program. The process of conformity assessment must take place in the exporting country. Please refer to the Certification Process section of this website in order to learn how you can demonstrate compliance with the SONCAP program.

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5. Where can an exporter enquire about the SONCAP Certificate?

Exporters can contact one of Cotecna’s offices. Depending on the country of export, you can find the contact details of the responsible office here.

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6. Do I need a SONCAP Certificate to import my goods into Nigeria?

It will depend on the products being imported into Nigeria. If your product is subject to the SONCAP program, you will need to have a SONCAP Certificate. Please refer to question 3 in order to determine if your products are subject to the SONCAP program or not.

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7. How can I start the process to obtain a SONCAP Certificate and how long will the certification process take?

The exporter should contact Cotecna with the relevant documentation and relevant information in order to start the process towards obtaining a SONCAP Certificate. See our Certification Process page for more information.

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8. How much will it cost to get a SONCAP Certificate (SC) or a Non Conformity Report (NCR)? And who is responsible for payment?

Some fees are fixed, please see the table below. However, the full costs depend on the product type and can be determined when the exporter contacts a Cotecna office. Based upon the relevant documentation and the relevant information, a price/quotation can be issued.

Process Description Fees in USD
Registration and Licensing PC (U) - Product Certificate Unregistered (validity 6 months) - Single model

300 for 6 months per certificate

Additional model in PC(U) (5 USD/month) 30 per model for 6 months
PC (R) - Product Registration (validity 1 year) - Single model 300 per year per certificate
PC (L) - Product Licensing (validity 1 year) - Single model 1'300 per year per certificate
Additional model from the same product (when included in initial PC) 60 per year / per model
Additional model from the same product (if included after the first release = amendment) - All type of PC 5 USD per month per model for the remaining months
Shipment Certification SONCAP Certificate (SC) 300 per shipment
Others Non Conformity Report (NCR) 350 per shipment
Certificate Amendment 100 per certificate

Conditions:

  • All costs incurred for presenting the goods for inspection, such as unpacking, handling, repacking, are borne by the exporter/seller.
  • If the goods do not conform to the requirements, fees for physical inspection, testing and Non Conformity Report issuance remain due to Cotecna.
  • This program is subject to the Cotecna’s General Terms and Conditions.
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9. In which country do I need to obtain the SONCAP Certificate?

The compliance process for obtaining the SONCAP Certificate must occur in the exporting country.

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10. What will happen if the importer does not comply with SONCAP requirements?

The SC is mandatory for Customs clearance of the shipment under the import requirements of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

All regulated products arriving at Nigerian entry points (ports, airports, land borders) without SONCAP Certificate will be rejected at the entry point and the Customs release will be refused.

The importer/exporter will then be required to re-export the goods or they will face delays while the goods are sampled and tested against to Nigerian requirements. The exporter/importer will bear all the costs related to this (sampling, testing, delay at the border point).

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