Quality competent authorities
It is important to make use of reliable and verified quality competent authorities (QCAs) as an exporter. QCAs are quality assurance agencies authorized and competent to issue export certificates. Most important advantages of using QCAs include the fact that:
- it builds trust towards international buyers
- it ensures compliance to international standards (which is needed for market access)
- it stimulates you to keep focusing on product improvement and innovation
Nigerian organizations for quality assurance
There are numerous QCAs in Nigeria. These institutions are focusing on specific areas of quality assurance. They therefore also issue different certificates. The main (fully accredited) Nigerian agencies and laboratories are listed below. These can be split up into two groups:
- Official QCAs with international recognition
- Other relevant agencies / institutions
Official QCAs (international recognition)
NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) controls and regulates the manufacture, exportation, distribution, sale and use of:
- food and drugs
- medical devices
- chemicals and detergents
- packaged drinks
The organization is designated as the competent authority under Codex Alimentarius. NAFDAC issues the health certificate and the certificate of manufacture & free sale. This is important when exporting (processed and semi-processed) food items. You can find more information, including specific export guidelines and regulations on http://www.nafdac.gov.ng/.
NAQS (Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services) ensures that Nigerian agricultural exports meet international standards. The organization issues the phytosanitary certificate for export of agricultural produce. This means that certified products are in line with International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) & SPS conditions of importing countries.
Check out more detailed information, including top tips for exporters of agro products on http://www.naqs.gov.ng/.
DVPCS (Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services) is part of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is designated as the competent authority under the World Organization for Animal Health standards, guidelines and recommendations.
DVPCS issues the international veterinary certificate for exports of animals and animal products. Therewith it aims to guarantee that wholesome food of animal origin from Nigeria meets export demands. Check out their website for more information on mandate & services.
Other relevant agencies / institutions
SON (Standards Organizations of Nigeria) provides national standards that are applicable to the export of goods. It has accredited laboratories for physiochemical and microbiological tests on food samples. Within SON the following sub-laboratories are available:
- Food microbiology testing Lab
- Food physiochemical testing Lab
- Micro-nutrients Lab
- Mycotoxin Lab
For more information, including an online catalogue with mandatory standards, visit http://son.gov.ng/.
NiNAS (Nigeria National Accreditation Services) is the national accreditation body. It provides credible and cost-effective accreditation services with international recognition.
Exporters who use conformity assessment bodies that have been accredited by NiNAS will be able to compete more easily in international markets. It increases marketability thanks to the system of international recognition agreements.
If you want to learn more about NiNAS and their full service offer, check out https://ninas.ng/.
Role of NEPC
Don’t you know for sure which QCA is applicable in your specific situation? Then NEPC is there to assist you. Furthermore, might there be any complaints or grievances regarding QCAs, we will provide support as well. In these cases, please contact us.