Frequently Asked Questions About SONCAP

What does SONCAP stand for?

SONCAP stands for the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Program.

What is the objective of SONCAP?

The SONCAP is a product conformity scheme whose objective is to help ensure that products exported to Nigeria meet minimum safety requirements. This will help ensure that Nigerian consumers are not exposed to potentially unsafe and sub-standard goods.

What products are covered by the SONCAP?

All products are regulated under the new SONCAP Structure with the exception of those products that are listed in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) circular as below:

  • Food products
  • Drugs
  • Medical Products (other than equipment and machines
  • Chemicals used as raw materials by bonafide manufacturers
  • Military ware and equipment
  • Goods classified as contraband by Federal Government of Nigeria
  • Used products (other than automobiles)

Exporters/Importers can clarify their Products that Require a Certificate for Exporting to Nigeria.

What will it cost to comply with SONCAP?

The fees for demonstrating compliance with SONCAP are detailed within the "Guidelines for Exporters" document which can be obtained from SON or your local Intertek SON Country Office or from http://www.son.gov.ng.

What are the benefits of SONCAP to Nigeria?

SONCAP will enhance the protection of the Nigerian consumer from unsafe and sub-standard products. In addition it will help Nigerian manufacturers to compete on a level playing field with imports since it will help prevent the import of products which are often cheaper due to their non compliance with safety standards.

What will happen if SONCAP is not complied with?

Regulated Products arriving at Nigerian ports without the necessary Certificate required by SONCAP may be rejected at the port and refused release. The importer/exporter will then be required to re-export the goods or face delays while the goods are sampled and then tested to safety standards. The exporter/importer will be expected to bear all expenses related to this activity.

When does SONCAP come into force?

The SONCAP has been in a voluntary transition period since 01 March 2005. From 01 September 2005 SONCAP has become mandatory for products within its scope.

Who enforces the SONCAP?

The SONCAP will be enforced by the SON Enforcement Unit. The presentation of SONCAP Certification , which consists of a Product Certificate and a SONCAP Certificate will be the means through which the SONCAP will be enforced. Both of these items are mandatory clearance documents for Regulated Products in addition to any PSI documentation.

Who has to demonstrate compliance with the SONCAP?

The responsibility for demonstrating compliance lies with the exporter to Nigeria. The compliance process should be undertaken in the country of export.

How do exporters show compliance with the SONCAP?

Compliance with the SONCAP is a two stage process.

The first stage, Product Certification, is applicable only the first time that you wish to export a particular type or model of product. A Product Certificate will be issued after the submission of an acceptable Test Report to the local Intertek SON Country Office. The resulting Product Certificate can be valid for up to one year or six months accordingly. The second stage, SONCAP Certification, is applicable on a shipment by shipment basis.

The detailed process is contained within the "Guidelines for Exporters" document which can be obtained from SON or your local Intertek SON Country Office or from our Resources section.

From where can the required Certificates be obtained?

Intertek have established a global network of Intertek SON Country Offices in all the major trading partners of Nigeria. All activities related to SONCAP must be performed in the country of export by the exporter through the Intertek SON Country Office with geographical responsibility for that country of export closest to the Exporter. The Intertek SON Country Office responsible for any given country can be found in Geographic Areas of Responsibility for SONCOs document found in our Resources section.

With whom can I speak to find out further information about the SONCAP?

You can speak to your nearest Intertek SON Country Office. A full list of Intertek offices can be found here.

Nigeria Business Export Guide
Resource Centre