Due to requests from some of our readers who need to know how to get NAFDAC license or approval to enlarge their small-scale production into large-scale businesses, and persons who have also read articles on how to start-up different businesses from the comfort of their homes, we had to publish this article. It is because of feedback from such readers we keep improving to serve you better.
In this article, we will be looking at the guidelines on how to get NAFDAC approval /license for your consumables food business.
Many persons want to cut corners at the detriment and welfare of others with fake products, that’s not hygienically packaged, and bring these products into the market where the unsuspecting masses will consume without knowing the difference between the original product and the counterfeit due to many similarities.
How to identify fake and unsafe consumables
Before looking at the guidelines to get NAFDAC license, let’s look at some of the ways of identifying fake consumables.
- Always check the expiry date of consumable products: Many people ignore this very common factor due to haste or hunger. For instance, I have a friend who is addicted to one popular soft drink, and hardly go a day without taking a bottle of the drink. Recently, she went into a groceries store to get a bottle of the soft drink as usual, she got a very chilled one and as she was about opening the cap, she took a look at the production/expiry date only to discover that the drink expired the previous year. That means that the content of the sealed bottle is unsafe and could cause harm to people. It is also possible that the product is a counterfeit of the original which isn’t from the company that produces the original product.
Please always check for expiring date of any consumable before gulping down.
- Always inspect the container of the products: You need to do this because there are many fake products out there. Some individuals collect the used containers of various companies’ products and refill them with theirs and they go as far as wiping off the expiry date. However, you will know fake products by inspecting the containers of the consumables and you are likely to find scratches around it or dirt.
- Always look at the product well before opening: Check out for unusual changes in the product packaging. In the case of bottled water/drinks, check the cap to ensure it is properly sealed and that it’s also from the company. I have had several experiences from bottled waters I buy when on transit, the sellers take advantages of the thirst of customers and the fact that the traffic is heavy to sell unhygienically packed bottles of water that is chilled, so customers don’t get to know the difference between a good one and a refill.
- Check the write-ups and logos on the product container: A clear case of this is with one popular soft drink back in the days, the original label had “low sugar” written on it, but the fake had “no sugar”, on it. If you don’t know the packaging of the original product, you may keep consuming fakes without knowing it.
Aside consumable foods, we also have a lot of fake products out there, like different fake drugs, injections, drips, etc.
When it comes to drugs, you see severe cases of drug abuse, overdose of un-prescribe drugs and dangerous substances that should be used in minor quantity. These have grave health consequences on the human body.
In light of the above, people die everyday due to the negligence of someone who wants cheap wealth or didn’t take proper precautions in the production process of the products, in order to ensure that they meet standard regulatory requirements. These prepare products in an unhygienic environment and do no find it necessary to call regulatory authorities to evaluate their process and get them licensed before they start production.
Hence the reason why NAFDAC came to be.
The full meaning of NAFDAC is National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control. The association works with other international regulatory bodies like WHO, etc to combat the production and distribution of fake products being imported and exported into various countries.
Steps involved in product registration with NAFDAC
1. Submission of Application:
An application letter and necessary documents with guidelines issued has to be submitted to NAFDAC office, to ensure the particular service you are there for.
2. Document Verification:
This will be done by NAFDAC to ensure all documents submitted are true. Ensure All documents are complete will relevant description to avoid unnecessary delays.
3. Facilities Inspection and Sampling:
Ensure you provide the description of your facilities for inspection, NAFDAC has to check the area you carry out your production services, the machines used, the facilities and your processes and procedures etc. The regulatory body also check if your facility deals with the importation of goods, and if those goods imported are part of the products verified by it.
4. Laboratory Analysis:
For your laboratory analysis, you will submit some of your products as samples to be assessed and tested. If the product sample passed the analysis, the product gets approved and registered.
5. Final Vetting:
This will be done by NAFDAC. This is done just as a way of double checking.
6. Approval meeting /certification:
This is the last stage before you get certified, after all necessary inspections and verification have been done on your products and your facilities and certified fit, you can start full-scale production.
Summary of NAFDAC registration process timeline
Submission of application takes no time at all, you will submit the same day you get there.
Document verification process takes 10 days.
Facility inspection and sampling takes 10 days for food, then 20 days for drugs.
Laboratory Analysis takes 30 days for food and additional 10 days for drugs which is 40 days.
Final vetting usually takes 10 days.
Approval Meeting /issuance of registration number takes 20 days
Altogether you have 90 days for food registration, and 120 days for drugs registration.
NAFDAC guidelines for package food products and water made in Nigeria.
1. It is important to note that no food products/ water manufactured in Nigeria shall be exported, imported, advertised or sold unless it is registered with the provisions of NAFDAC act CAP N1 (LFN) 2004.
2. A written application has to be made on the company’s letterhead to the Director General. An online application form will be purchased also and duly completed, you can visit the official NAFDAC website link at the end of this article.
3. Separate application form will be submitted for different product.
How to submit documents to NAFDAC
1. The application letter with print out of the registration form are to be submitted to the Liaisons Office of the director at any of their branches nation wide, with 2 copies of:
- Evidence of business incorporation / business name for MSMES (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises).
- Evidence of payment.
- Manufacturingagreement if it applies to your business.
- Brandname / trade marks done in the name of the owner in the Ministry of Industry.
- Evidenceof a certificate issued by GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) or Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
- Product label/ designs should be accompanied by a comprehensive analysis contained on the letter headed paper of the Quality Control Laboratory which will show:
The brand name of the product.
The production and expiring dates.
The signature, name of the analyst.
2. Upon satisfaction of the above mentioned procedures, your product will be presented for approval. And products that has compliance issues will be submitted with a letter stating it compliance.
3. Notification of registration is given to the applicant, while compliance directive is given to those whose product do not meet with NAFDAC approval.
4. Labelling of product should meet with required specifications.
5. Tariff, NAFDAC fees and tariff changes from time to time on different products, I advise you visit any of their branches or start your registration online to get the current fee.
6. If the above stated requirements are not complied with, it will lead to automatic disqualification of the application or give room for unnecessary delays.
An application that is successfully registered will be given a five years validity period.
A successful registration does not mean the applicant will start advertising. The applicant has to obtain a permit from the body to properly advertise their products. It is allowed to process NAFDAC registration and advertising permit at the same pace.
NAFDAC has the right to revoke your certificate during it’s validity period if your practice goes against it standards.
Take care not to mistake paying the application fee to mean, you have registration rights to operate your business, also if queries and enquires are not promptly responded to within 90 days, it will lead to the closure of your application.
NAFDAC do not come after small scale start ups businesses like businesses at the comfort of your home, the agency go in pursuit of businesses that have no registration and advert permit, who fluent themselves in the face of the public.
As your business grow, this excludes production of drugs or other intravenous injections, start planning towards getting a license from NAFDAC, it assures people of the safety of your products.
For further enquiries visit: www.nafdac.gov.ng
Or email the agency : firstname.lastname@example.org
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About The Writer : This was written by Salome Precious, senior content developer at MyAfribusiness.com. She is an accountant by training and a business enthusiast by passion.
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