Understanding & Differentiating the Product Certificate (PC) and the SONCAP Certificate (SC)

  • 3/30/2021

The importation of goods into Nigeria is regulated by several bodies, the SON being one of such bodies is required to issue a Product Certificate (PC) and a SONCAP Certificate (SC) for all consignments regulated by it under the requirements of the Federal Government of Nigeria to importers to process their Form M and clear their goods.

Product Certificate (PC)

The PC is required for the opening of  Form M (The Form M is a document needed to pre-declare the goods to be imported). There are three types of PCs: 

  1. The PC(U), for unregistered or unlicensed products. 
  2. The PC(R), for registered products.
  3. The PC(L), for licensed products.

In the importation process, the PC and the SC are distinct certificates meant for different uses, at different stages. To help better understand the SON certification process, below are some of the differences between both certificates, what they are used for and at what stage they are requested.

PRODUCT CERTIFICATE SONCAP CERTIFICATE
The product certificate (PC) is the first certificate issued during the certification process. It is used in the opening of the Form M to enable importation into Nigeria. The SONCAP Certificate (SC) is used to raise the PAAR for the clearance of goods from any Nigerian port.
The PC is issued to the exporter, as only his details are stated on the certificate. The SC is issued to an importer, whose details are stated on the SONCAP certificate.
Several importers can use the same PC depending on the exporter’s wish and certificate type. The SC can only be used by the importer registered on the certificate. It cannot be shared by several importers.
The PC is issued for a period of time, i.e. 6 months or 1 year. The SC is issued per consignment.
Testing is required before PC issuance. Inspection is required before SC issuance (although not mandatory, depending on the certificate type).

Please contact us if you need assistance at any stage of the process, or if you need any further information.

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