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Only non-compliant importers complain of SONCAP pre-shipment automation- SON

The Standards Organisation of
Nigeria (SON) has declared that only importers who failed to comply with the pre-shipment automation process cried about accumulation of demmurage on their consignments. 

A statement by the office of
the Director General, Osita Aboloma, debunked
 the claim by the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA)  that its online application portal for the operation of the offshore Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) for processing of SON regulated imports into Nigeria had collapsed.

According to the statement signed
by the Head, Public Relations of SON, Bola Fashina, the portal was recently
upgraded to ensure optimal performance, enhance a seamless operation and more
efficient service delivery to customers and stakeholders alike.

Fashina, disclosed that some of
the advantages the upgraded SONCAP portal offers are:
a one-stop-shop that provides clients opportunity to apply, track
application, send messages to SON and receive responses as well upload evidence
of payments seamlessly
   profile of the work done and documents used
for application are available on Clients’ dashboard
       No more Tax Identification Number (TIN)
       No more mistakes in company name etc.
Fashina alluded to a recent
challenge in transmitting approved and activated SONCAP certificates to the
National trade portal which according to him was not peculiar to SON but all
other trade related agencies from January 22, 2020.

He stated that the issue has
since been rectified on the national trade portal and all pending SONCAP
certificates transmitted to the Nigerian Integrated Customs Information System
(NICIS) portal as at February 1, 2020.

On the claim that imports were
accumulating demurrage as a result of the gap, Fashina explained that the
SONCAP is a pre-shipment process, stressing that only non-compliant importers,
who apply for the certificates after the arrival of their consignments are
crying foul.

He said that some importers who
brought in about 182 containers into the country without following the
pre-shipment conformity assessment process were those trying to circumvent
established procedure and crying wolf.

According to him, such
consignments would naturally be subjected to scrutiny, seized if found to be substandard
while those behind then would face prosecution.

He advised importers to follow
the import procedures strictly by ensuring that they process their product and
SONCAP certificates offshore rather than looking for short cuts after the
consignments have arrived Nigeria.

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