Archive | Product Compliance

RSS feed for this section

Product Liability Insurance For Importers & Amazon Sellers

product liability insurance

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

Product liability insurance for Importers (sometimes called Import liability insurance) can save you from financial ruin, in case your products would be the case of injury or property damage.

Falling back on your supplier is never an option, so get used to the fact that you will be on your own to deal with possible product liability claims in the future.

This is covered:

  • What is covered by a product liability insurance?
  • What is not covered?
  • For what kind of products is an insurance necessary?
  • Do I need a product liability insurance to sell on Amazon?
  • Can I get an insurance for the US if I sell in another country?

We also provide a list of companies offering product liability insurance products in the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

What is product liability insurance?

A product liability insurance can protect your business against personal injury or property damage claims. If you sell a product that, for any reason, harms a customer or damage property, the insurance covers legal and court fees.

With a product liability insurance, you are unprotected. Injury or damage claims can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s practically impossible to be completely certain that your products don’t pose any risk whatsoever to your customers – regardless of how many quality checks and lab tests you do.

These are a few examples what might go wrong:

a. Li-ion battery powered devices: Fire hazard, explosion hazard

b. Children’s products: Choking hazard

c. Furniture: Fire hazard

d. Apparel: Choking hazard

e. Food contact materials. Food and beverage contamination hazard

While T-shirts are much less prone to explosions, compared to high capacity power banks, the risk that you will face a claim is always present. Continue Reading →

Shipping Lithium Batteries From China: UN 38.3, Packaging & Labels

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: Electronics

Importing standalone lithium batteries, or Li-ion powered electronic devices, from China?

Then you might be aware of the strict and complicated safety regulations, covering labeling, export packaging and documentation.

However, you might still struggle to understand how you should go about to actually follow these regulations when importing li-ion batteries and electronics from China.

In this article, we cover the following:

  • What types of lithium batteries and devices are regulated?
  • UN 38.3 and other safety standards
  • Export packaging requirements
  • Documentation requirements
  • Lab testing requirements
  • Shipping lithium batteries by sea
  • Shipping lithium batteries to Amazon

Notice that IATA and air couriers update these regulations on a yearly basis.

However, you can safely assume that it’s not going to get any easier to transport lithium batteries and devices in the future. Continue Reading →

How to Write a User Manual When Importing Products to the EU: By Tom van de Wiel

tom manualise

Product manuals, or user guides, are not just ‘nice to have’. At least if you are importing and selling in the European Union.

They are absolutely essential to many product categories, as product manuals are mandatory.

I am aware of several cases, when the customs authorities have seized shipments, simply because the product was not bundled with a manual.

So, we decided to ask an expert, Tom van de Wiel, CEO of Manualise.

In this interview, with one of Europe’s leading experts in this area, you will learn the following:

  • What kind of products require a manual?
  • In which cases is a product manual not required?
  • What information must be included in the manual?
  • What can happen if I don’t have a manual?

Continue Reading →

5 Product Safety Misconceptions That Can Ruin Your Import Business

compliance misunderstandings

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

Product compliance can often feel overwhelming. Certificates, laboratory testing and supplier background check. It makes your head spin.

Perhaps this topic is so overwhelming, that we simply refuse to believe that it applies to us and our products.

We want to believe that the supplier somehow got it figured out, or that the product is already approved by the customs in the US or Europe.

But exploding hoverboards and forced recalls are real.

So real that all importers, regardless of product category, can’t afford to make a single mistake when it comes to product compliance.

That’s why I decided to debunk the 5 most common myths about product safety, when importing products from China.

Let’s begin. Continue Reading →

Product Labeling Regulations in the US, EU and Australia

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

About to import products from China or elsewhere in Asia? Then you need to ensure that the products are properly labeled.

In this article, we explain what every importer must know about labeling requirements in the EU, US and Australia.

We also explain why you cannot rely on your manufacturer to ensure compliance on your behalf. In fact, most of them don’t even know how products must be labeled in your market.

Keep reading, to ensure that your products are not seized by the customs authorities!

What is ‘Product Labeling Requirements’?

Most countries have legal requirements for how a product shall be labeled. A label can, for example, inform the customer about the following:

  • The manufacturing country
  • If the product meets certain legal safety requirements (i.e., compliance marks)
  • Size, material and other general product information
  • Warning labels and user instructions

Some labeling requirements apply to all, or a wide range of, product categories.

For example, all products in the US must be labelled with the country of origin (i.e., Made in China). In the European Union, many products must be CE marked.

Other labeling requirements apply to specific products. Examples include toys, electronics and textiles – each with their own set of unique labeling requirements.

Notice that labeling requirements are usually just one of many requirements that importers must fulfil to ensure compliance with certain regulations.

In addition, you may need to keep track of the following:

Technical Compliance: This means that the product is manufactured according to certain technical standards, or substance restrictions. The product is therefore able to pass the necessary tests.

Documents Requirements: The Importer is required to create and store a set of documents. Such documents may include circuit diagrams, component lists, design drawings and risk assessments.

It is important to underline that this article does not include information above the two points above. Continue Reading →

CPSIA – Importing Children’s products from China to the US

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: Children’s Products

The CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) regulates all imported (and domestically manufactured) toys and children’s products in the United States.

In this article we guide you through the various aspects of the CPSIA, including regulated substances, ASTM standards, documentation, lab testing and CPSIA tracking labels.

We also explain what you need to think about when sourcing Chinese manufacturers of toys and children’s products – and why failing to secure compliance with the CPSIA is a recipe for financial ruin.

CPSIA regulated products

While the term “children’s product” might be rather vague, the CPSC determines any consumer product matching one or more of the following, to be classified as a “children’s product”: Continue Reading →

FDA Certification & Labels When Importing from China: A Complete Guide

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: Kitchen Utensils

Planning to import kitchen utensils, food products or medical devices from China, and sell in the United States? Then you need to ensure compliance with all mandatory FDA administered regulations.

In this comprehensive guide to FDA regulations and requirements for importers, you will learn what you must know about FDA labeling requirements, premarket approvals, documentation and lab testing.

In addition, you will also learn how Amazon.com is enforcing FDA regulations, such as 21 CFR, and why you should not rely on your manufacturer in China to manage the process for you.

Which products are regulated by the FDA?

FDA, standing for the Food and Drug Administration, is a government agency, not a standard or regulation in itself. The FDA administers regulations that affect various product categories.

a. Food Contact Materials / Kitchen Utensils

The FDA administers 21 CFR, which regulates all types of materials made to be in contact with food and beverages.

21 CFR covers plastics, ceramics, coatings, glass and metal used in both food packaging and all types of kitchen utensils.

For example, food packaging and kitchen utensils may not contain toxic or harmful chemicals and heavy metals – or affect the taste and smell of the food or beverage.

21 CFR mainly concerns the substances used in kitchen utensils (both electrical and non-electrical) and food packaging. Continue Reading →

CE Marking When Importing From China: A Complete Guide

Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

Importing from China to the European Union? Then CE marking, and compliance with at least one EN directive, may be mandatory. Yet, many small businesses importing from China remain unaware of how to determine whether CE marking is required for their products, and which party is required to ensure compliance.

In this article, we explain the basics of CE marking, including documentation, labeling requirements, regulated products and relevant EN / EC directives.

What’s more, we also explain why companies importing from China, and other Asian countries, must never assume that their manufacturer is able to ensure compliance with EU standards and regulations. Continue Reading →

What is the cost of CE marking and certification?

CE marking cost

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

CE marking is mandatory when importing many products to the European Union. The stakes are high, as your shipment can be seized by the customs authorities if it’s not properly CE marked and certified.

But what is the cost of CE marking and certification? And, who should pay for it?

In this article, you will learn how you can manage the CE process on your own without paying a single euro – but why it makes sense to hire a consultant to handle certain parts of the process.

At least the first time you import a product that must be CE marked.

But first, let’s recap on what CE marking actually is:

CE is a framework, rather than a standard. Many, but not all, EU directives require that a product is CE marked.

To CE mark a product, you must take these steps:

a. Create the CE label file (and make sure that your products get labelled correctly)

b. Confirm all applicable directives (i.e., RoHS and LVD)

c. Create a User Manual, Technical file and Declaration of Conformity

1. You can practically do it yourself without spending a cent

CE marking involves creating label files and a set of documents. That’s really how simple it can be to get your product CE compliant.

You can find a lot of information about applicable directives and EN standards for free on the internet, including here on Chinaimportal.com.

It’s indeed time consuming, but you can do everything by yourself, for free.

For most products, third party lab testing is not even mandatory, even though it’s recommended.

If you decide to go through the CE marking process on your own, you need to take the following steps:

a. Research all applicable directives

b. Create label files

c. Create Declaration of Conformity, Manual and Technical file

While a test report may not be mandatory, notice that the authorities in any EU state can require that you provide a test report to prove that the product is compliant with all relevant EN directives.

Normally, you don’t need to submit the documentation or get any form of third party approval. You just create the documents and keep them for at least 10 years.

It’s indeed time consuming to figure out how these documents should look the first time, but it’s highly rewarding as you can easily replicate the process when importing other products in the future. Continue Reading →

Accredited Lab Testing Companies in China: An Overview

accredited laboratories

Click Here to Get the
Starter Package: All Categories

As an importer to countries in  the European Union, North America, Middle East or Australia, it is your responsibility to make sure the products you’re importing are in compliance with country’s safety regulations and defined quality standards.

For this, you need to get your products tested and certified by the accredited lab testing companies.

This is why as an importer from China to North America, Europe, Australia or other parts of the world where governments have strict rules and regulations for imported products, the first thing you may want to learn about is how to get your products tested from accredited labs.

You can’t import products to Europe, the United States, Australia and other developed markets – unless they meet the standards and norms defined by these countries.

Importing untested products can not only result in heavy penalties, but also confiscation of imported goods, while some countries can even blacklist your name as an importer who is banned from importing goods in the country.

So if you’re an importer from China or just starting your career as one, it is important to find accredited labs for your products in China that can make sure your products meet all the legal requirements and checks enforced by the country where you’re importing goods. Continue Reading →

[i]
[i]