The Management of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has disowned a purported ultimatum to Manufacturers and Importers on its yet to be launched Product Authentication Mark scheme.
A statement from the office of the Director General, Osita Aboloma, explained that the programme is still in the works, awaiting final approval from relevant authorities.
It urged Manufacturers and Importers to disregard the purported ultimatum, published in some news media, stressing that adequate notice will be given to stakeholders as usual before any new programme is introduced.
The Product Authentication Mark, according to the statement, is being conceived to empower Consumers in taking informed decisions on the genuiness or otherwise of SON regulated products at the point of purchase.
It is also aimed at helping brand owners fight counterfeiting and adulteration of their products, as well as improve market share and bottom line.
When introduced, according to SON, the programme is expected to complement existing quality assurance initiatives like the offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for imported products, the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for made-in-Nigeria products and the Electronic Products Registration Scheme for developing a data base of products in Nigeria for traceability.
The statement assured stakeholders of SON’s commitment to promoting Consumer safety, value for money, product competitiveness as well as ensuring a level playing field for locally manufactured and imported products, in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements.
It could recalled that, the media reported that SON (SON) has introduced Product Authentication Mark (PAM) in order to check sub-standards products in Nigeria.
It was in line with Section 5 of the SON Act No. 14 of 2015, SON has been empowered to ensure the authenticity and traceability of products certified to met the requirements of the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards or other approved specifications.
“ We hereby notifies the general public of the introduction of PRODUCT AUTHENTICATION MARK on all imported products into Nigeria from January 2020,” it stated.
The statement explained that the PAM was introduced, “to provide assurance to Nigerian Consumers on products and guarantee value for money, to ensure effective control of non-complying products in the Nigerian Market and to protect genuine Importers from faking and product adulteration by ensuring that only SONCAP certified products are in the markets in the long run.”
On Procedure for obtaining PAM, the statement said that the importers of SONCAP Certified products shall apply for issuance of PAM by completing an application form online, on SON website www.son.gov.ng.