How NESREA Clearance Permit replaces SONCAP

Press Release

Virtually all products imported into the Nigerian territory are regulated under the SONCAP programme, and would have to undergo a two-step certification for SON Product Certificate and SONCAP Certificate respectively. However, a few items listed below are exempted from this programme, and are therefore treated differently.

Importers of such goods or products would have to obtain either a NESREA Clearance Permit or SON Import Permit, or even NAFDAC Permit. This article shall deal heavily on NESREA Environmental Clearance Permit. I shall treat Import Permit and NAFDAC Permit in a separate article.

  • Food products
  • Medicines
  • Medical products other than equipment and machines
  • Chemical products used as raw materials by bona fide manufacturers
  • Military wares & equipment
  • Goods classified as contraband by the Federal Government of Nigeria
  • Used products other than automobiles
  • Machinery (or related spare parts) destined for use by bona fide manufacturers, who intend to use this for their own manufacturing purposes. They are advised to apply to the SON for a SONCAP import permit.
NESREA is an acronym for National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency. First and foremost, let me list all the goods regulated by this agency, then I can walk you through on how to process and obtain the permit. These are categorized as follow:

1. Large household appliances (White goods)
1.     Large cooling appliances
2.     Refrigerators
3.     Freezers
4.     Other large appliances used for refrigeration, conservation and storage of food
5.     Washing machines
6.     Water Heaters
7.     Clothes dryers
8.     Dish washing machines
9.     Electric Cooking Utensils
10.                        Electric stoves
11.                        Electric hot plates
12.                        Microwave ovens
13.                        Other large appliances used for cooking and other processing of food
14.                        Electric heating appliances
15.                        Electric radiators
16.                        Other large appliances for heating rooms, beds, seating furniture
17.                        Electric fans
18.                        Air conditioner appliances
19.                        Other fanning, exhaust ventilation and conditioning equipment
2. Small household appliances (White goods)
1.     Vacuum cleaners
2.     Carpet sweepers
3.     Other appliances for cleaning
4.     Appliances used for sewing, knitting, weaving and other processing for textiles
5.     Irons and other appliances for ironing, mangling and other care of clothing
6.     Toasters
7.     Fryers
8.     Grinders, coffee machines and equipment for opening or sealing containers or packages
9.     Electric knives
10.                        Appliances for hair-cutting, hair drying, tooth brushing, shaving, massage and other body care appliances
11.                        Clocks, watches and equipment for the purpose of measuring, indicating or registering time
12.                        Weighing Scales
3. ICT and telecommunications equipment (Grey goods)
1.     Mainframes
2.     Minicomputers
3.     Personal computers
4.     Laptop computers
5.     Notebook computers
6.     Notepad computers
7.     Printers
8.     Copying equipment
9.     Electrical and electronic typewriters
10.     Pocket and desk calculators
11.Other products and equipment for the collection, storage, processing, presentation or communication of information by electronic means
12.    User terminals and systems
13.      Facsimile
14.      Telex
15.        Telephones
16.       Pay telephones
17.       Cordless telephones
18.       Cellular telephones
19.        Answering systems
20.  Other products or equipment of transmitting sound, images or other information by telecommunications
4. Entertainment and Consumer equipment 
1.     Radio sets
2.     Television sets
3.     Video cameras
4.     Video recorders
5.     Hi-fi recorders
6.     Audio amplifiers
7.     Musical instruments
8.     Other products or equipment for the purpose of recording or reproducing sound or images, including signals or other technologies for the distribution of sound and image than by telecommunications
5. Lighting equipment
1.     Luminaries for fluorescent lamps with the exception of luminaries in households
2.     Straight fluorescent lamps
3.     Compact fluorescent lamps
4.     High intensity discharge lamps, including pressure sodium lamps and metal halide lamps
5.     Low pressure sodium lamps
6.     Other lighting or equipment for the purpose of spreading or controlling light with the exception of filament bulbs
6. Electrical and electronic tools 
1.     Drills
2.     Saws
3.     Sewing machines
4.     Equipment for turning, milling, sanding, grinding, sawing, cutting, shearing, drilling, making holes, punching, folding, bending or similar processing of wood, metal and other materials
5.     Tools for riveting, nailing or screwing or removing rivets, nails, screws or similar uses
6.     Tools for welding, soldering or similar use
7.     Equipment for spraying, spreading, dispersing or other treatment of liquid or gaseous substances by other means
8.     Tools for mowing or other gardening activities
7. Toys, leisure and sports equipment
1.     Electric trains or car racing sets
2.     Hand-held video game consoles
3.     Video games
4.     Computers for biking, diving, running and rowing
5.     Sports equipment with electric or electronic components
6.     Coin slot machines
8. Medical devices (with the exception of all implanted and infected products)
1.     Radiotherapy equipment
2.     Cardiology equipment
3.     Dialysis equipment
4.     Pulmonary ventilators Nuclear medicine equipment
5.     Laboratory equipment for in-vitro diagnosis
6.     Analysers
7.     Fertilization tests equipment
8.     Other appliances for detecting, preventing, monitoring, treating, alleviating illness, injury or disability
9. Monitoring and control instruments
1.     Smoke detector
2.     Heating regulators
3.     Thermostats
4.     Measuring, weighing or adjusting appliances for household or laboratory equipment. Other monitoring and control instruments used in industrial installations (for example, in control panels)
10. Automatic dispensers
1.     Automatic dispensers for hot drinks
2.     Automatic dispensers for hot or cold bottles or cans
3.     Automatic dispensers for solid products
4.     Automatic dispensers for money
5.     All appliances which deliver automatically all kind of products
11. Others
1.     Generators
2.     Transformers
1.     Agrochemicals
2.     Pesticides
3.     Herbicides
4.     Fertilisers
5.     Industrial Chemicals / raw materials
6.     Inorganic Chemical Reagents
7.     Organic Chemicals & Solvents
8.     Thickeners
9.     Pigments
10.    Colorants
11.     Corrosion inhibitors
12.       Retardants
13.      Anti-microbial
14.       Organic Solvents

To apply for this permit, write a letter to the DG, attach necessary documents; see sample below. Ordinarily, letters are to be taken to the nearest NESREA office (what an analogue system am afraid). To fasten your work, simply send the letter via email to: and copy:
28 March, 2018.
The Director General
No. 4 Oro-Ago Crescent,
Off Mohammed Buhari Way,
Garki- Abuja

Dear Sir,

We write to request for import clearance permit for the product with below particulars:
  • Item: Exchange Engine Type 3412C (used)
  • Name of importer: Vagmon Group Ltd.
  • Expected Date of Arrival: To be determined after Form M
  • Port of Discharge: Port Harcourt Airport
  • Quantity: 1
  • Brand Name: Caterpillar Diesel Engine, Type D3412C
  • Country of Export: Netherland
Kindly see attached Pro forma invoice, Test Result, MSDS and other documents for further description.
Yours faithfully,
Brown Williams
Documentation Person
For Vagmon Integrated Services
The director or his team will review and write back to confirm the item is NESREA, regulated or not. If regulated, and if documents provided are good, they will evaluate the goods and indicate permit processing amount to be paid via remittal to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Once payment is made, you would have to scan the evidence back to the above email, after which the permit is issued and transmitted to the NESREA office close to your location for pick up.
At the area office, you must show the original pay evidence and the application letter for the permit.
1.  Chemicals
1.     Pro forma Invoice
2.     Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
3.     Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tax Clearance Certificate; and
4.     Certificate of Incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission
2.  Electrical Electronic Equipment
2.1 Brand New EEE
1.     A completed Registration form for EEE import
2.     Pro forma Invoice
3.     SONCAP
2.2 Used Electrical Electronic Equipment (UEEE) Import Certificate
1.     A completed Registration form for EEE import;
2.     Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tax Clearance Certificate;
3.     Certificate of Incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission; and
4.     Evidence of payment as a registered Import.
2.3 Small and Large Industrial Equipment, Motor Vehicle Auto Parts and Mixed Items
1.     Pro forma Invoice
2.     Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tax Clearance Certificate; and
3.     Certificate of Incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission

Note that most used items are NESREA regulated; the list above is a guide.

You don’t have to worry much about the documents to attach, only let us know what you have got and let us see what can be done. Vagmon Integrated Services.
The beautiful thing about NESREA clearance permit is that the same certificate is used to obtain form m and per, unlike the SON certification where you are required to get PC first and later get SONCAP after getting Form M. Again no certificate validation required for NESREA. Go straight; use your permit to apply for Form M, and subsequently PAAR. TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF NESREA NOW AND REDUCE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SON.