NAGAFF Urges Freight Forwarders To Respect SON’s Mandate | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NAGAFF Urges Freight Forwarders To Respect SON’s Mandate

Posted: Sep 28, 2016 at 3:40 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



Andrew Utulu



The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has reminded its practicing members that Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as a regulatory agency of the government, had the mandate to ensure that all goods imported, exported and manufactured in Nigeria adhere to approved standards and quality assurance certification.

NAGAFF said it was also important to remind all practitioners that it should be their duty to inform and educate their clients as to the need to respect and obey the regulatory requirements of the organization.

NAGAFF founder, Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam, said NAGAFF was worried that practitioners, rather than obey the rules and avoid circumstances that could lead to sanctions, including seizure of goods by SON, assumed that they could always circumvent the rules.

Aniebonam said: “It is very regrettable that we have been conducting ourselves in a manner that is detrimental to the investments of our clients while enriching other countries who for their personal gains may have turned Nigeria to a dumping ground with  fake, adulterated and inferior goods.

“It is in the public glare, including various publications of the organization, that every piece of information with regard to processes and procedures of product
registration, can be obtained and carried out in all the offices of SON throughout the Federation.
He advised that the practice of indulging in falsification of documents, including but not limited to wrong description and concealment of product’s identity, must stop forthwith.

He disclosed that the enforcement unit of SON might have decided to step up their enforcement duty to include prosecution of offenders in line with their mandate and the Act establishing the organization.

Aniebonam said: “It is regrettable to observe that some nigerians can go to the extent of importing canned waste oil, expired cylinders and substandard motor tyres etc which are very dangerous to life.

“It is therefore our advice that practitioners should imbibe the concept of best practices as professionals in the business of freight forwarding profession.  The need for patriotism must be our watchword to right the wrongs in igeria.  NAGAFF is of the opinion that the mantra of change must catch up with everybody to drive the potentials of our great country.”

He also called on SON to continue to imbibe the culture of corrective measures to ensure that international trade was encouraged in Nigeria.

He said that to achieve this, SON should continue to engage stakeholders as responsible partners to achieve the objective of its mandate to the glory of mankind and the society.

He said: “”The need to moderate default and other related charges should also attract the attention of the SON management in favour of trade.”

The NAGAFF founder drew the attention of stakeholders and freight forwarders in particular to the reviewed version of SONCAP rules which took effect from 1st of February 2013, saying that it was  a fact that son had appointed four international accredited firms to carry on with inspection, test and certification of regulated products on behalf of the organization offshore.

They include China Certification and Inspection Company Ltd (CCIC), Cotecna Inspection Nigeria Ltd (Cotecna), Swede Control Intertek International Ltd (INTERTEX) and Societe Generale De Surveillance (SGS).

The firms would undertake the responsibility of issuance of product certificates to overseas manufacturers/suppliers/traders and their documents shall be a requirement for the registration of form ‘m’ for SONCAP regulated products.

In the same vain, the SON would be responsible for the issuance of SONCAP certificate(s) on arrival of goods at the ports as part of documentation for customs clearance.

It is also on record that the list of products exempted from SONCAP certification has been update to include food stuffs, drugs (medicines), medicals other than equipment and machines, chemicals used as raw materials by bonafide manufacturers, military  wares and equipment, goods classified as contraband by the federal government of Nigeria, used products other than automobiles.

He urged freight forwarders to note that bonafide manufacturers, who intend to import machinery or related spare parts should apply for son permit before importation.

Aniebonam advised: “It is also a regulation under SONCAP  mandate that only products, certificates issued by the approved international accredited firms of son, shall be used for approval of form ‘m’ by the banks for SONCAP  regulated products with effect from the date of the revision of SONCAP  rules.”