The Product Authentication Mark (PAM). a new initiative of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) aimed at checking locally produced items and imported products has taken effect since 1st of February 2018.
PAM, is a mark of quality that would be fixed on all finished products to demonstrate their conformity to approved standards.
According to Director General of SON, Dr Osita Aboloma, while addressing stakeholders recently in Lagos ,PAM will be issued as a sticker with security features and quick response code, which can be scanned by a smart phone. It is applied on each product to ensure traceability and track imported and local products.
But certain items such as food products, drugs, machineries of manufacturers, among others, are exempted from PAM, which has taken effect from February 1, 2018.
This means that all imported products arriving at Nigerian Ports will be required to have met the requirements of the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards or other approved specifications in Nigeria, have passed authenticity and traceability certification and display an appropriate PAM sticker.
It will also raise the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products and boost the country’s economic diversification drive from oil to non-oil sector and check substandard products.
.The reason for this initiative, the agency said its according to the Act governing it. In Section 5 of the SON Act No. 14 of 2015,to ensure the authenticity and traceability of products certified to have met the requirements of the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards or other approved specifications in Nigeria, hereby notifies the general public of the introduction of PAM on all locally manufactured and imported products into Nigeria from beginning of the second quarter of 2018.
PAM which main objectives among others are to provide assurance to Nigerian consumers on products and guarantee value for money, to ensure effective control of non-complying products in the Nigerian Markets, to promote a level playing field in the market for both locally manufactured and imported products and to protect genuine manufacturers and Importers from faking and product adulteration by ensuring that only certified products are in the markets in the long run will also reduce counterfeiting of products which had become a clog in the wheel of the progress of local manufacturers.
After a two-month transition period, from 31st March 2018 no imported product subject to this regulation will then be allowed for sale in Nigerian markets without the PAM sticker. It is of paramount important that all importers are aware that SONCAP Certified products must carry a certified Product Authentication Mark. And, all application for PAM Stickers must be submitted before SON final clearance of the goods from the Ports of entry.
To avoid costly delays at Port, SON advised that all exporters should ask their importers to talk to SON regarding the process as soon as possible.
The agency also advise importers to ensure that PAM stickers are only displayed on individual certified retail products and when it is not possible to display a PAM sticker on an individual retail unit, then importers should ensure a PAM sticker is displayed on a package containing two or more retail units (as long as the retail cost of a single unit is no more than NGN 50.00).
Imported products already in the market, the agency said can continue to be sold without the new PAM stickers until 31st March 2018 while no imported product subject to this regulation will be allowed for sale in Nigerian markets without the PAM sticker after 31stMarch 2018.
In case of extensive quantities of historic stock ,importers are advised to immediately contact the agency . An XDS SONCAP Account Manager will be able to advise on, and action, the most efficient route to issuance of PAM stickers from SON. And importers must ensure that application for PAM Stickers has been submitted before SON final clearance of the goods from the Ports of Entry.