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 ensures focus on product improvement and innovation
Nigerian organizations for quality assurance
There are numerous QCAs in Nigeria. These institutions focus on specific areas of quality assurance. They therefore issue different certificates. The main (fully accredited) Nigerian agencies and laboratories are listed below. These can be split up into two groups:
- Official QCAs
- Other relevant agencies / institutions
Official QCAs (international recognition)
NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) is the designated competent authority under Codex Alimentarius in compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitory (SPS) measures. NAFDAC issues the health certificate and the certificate of manufacture & free sale. This is important when exporting (processed and semi-processed) food items, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and detergents. You can find more information, including specific export guidelines and regulations on http://www.nafdac.gov.ng/.
NAQS (Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services) is the designated competent authority under International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitory (SPS) measures. This ensures that Nigerian agricultural exports meet international standards. The organization issues the phytosanitary certificate for export of agricultural produce.
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 a department in 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 as stipulated by the Office International des Epizooties(OIE).
DVPCS issues the International Veterinary Entry Document (CVED/IVED) for exports of animals and animal products. It aims to guarantee that wholesome food of animal origin from Nigeria complies with export requirements. Check out their website for more information on mandate & services.
4. Department Of Fisheries
Department of fisheries is a department in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is designated as the competent authority for the issuance of health certificate for export of fish and fishery products.
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.
To learn more about NiNAS and their services, check out https://ninas.ng/.
Role of NEPC
For further information on QCA’s please contact us.