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List of Product Testing Labs in China: An Overview

accredited laboratories

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Lab testing is the only way to verify that your imported product is compliant with all applicable safety standards and substance regulations. However, not all test reports are equal, as only those issued by accredited testing companies are actually valid.

For example, the CPSC in the United States lists testing labs around the world that are accredited, meaning that they only accept test reports issued by the listed companies.

In this article, we list some of the world’s leading testing labs in Mainland China and Hong Kong:

  • QIMA (Formerly Asiainspection)
  • CMA Testing
  • SGS
  • TUV
  • Bureau Veritas
  • Intertek

In addition, you’ll also get these questions answered:

  • Why do I neeed an accredited testing laboratory to check my products?
  • FCC Accredited Labs in Asia
  • FDA (USA) Accredited Labs in Asia

Continue Reading →

Product Testing Costs When Buying from Asia – A Complete Guide

lab test costs

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Today, one or more safety standards and substance regulations apply to most consumer products imported to the European Union, the United States, Australia, and other markets. As product compliance is rather an exception than the rule among Chinese manufacturers, third-party compliance testing is often the only way to be sure that you are not importing non-compliant products.

In this article, we guide you through the different types of compliance test and their each respective cost structure and explain what you can do to reduce said costs.

advanced materials

Chemicals and heavy metals testing (REACH, EN 71 and CA Prop 65)

Substance regulations, such as REACH in the European Union and California Proposition 65, restricts substances in some, or all consumer goods. Such substances often include lead, cadmium, formaldehyde, and phthalates. While batch testing is not always mandatory, compliance is.

Therefore, an importer may choose to which extent its products shall be tested.

Testing companies set the cost based on the number of substances (as requested by a certain regulation or standard) and the number of materials or variations, of said material. The following may count as a variation: Continue Reading →

Australia Product Safety Standards: What Importers Must Know

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Starter Package: All Categories

About to import products from China to Australia or New Zealand? Ensuring compliance with mandatory safety standards should not come as an afterthought, but be the core focus when importing any consumer product to Australia.

Importing non-compliant products to Australia is an offense, which may not only result in a forced recall, but fines counted in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In other words, you only got one chance to get it right. Keep reading, to learn what every Australian importer must know about product safety:

  • Which products are regulated in Australia?
  • What is an AS/NZS standard?
  • How do I know which AS/NZS safety standards apply to my product?
  • How do I verify that a product conforms to a certain AS/NZS standard?
  • Do I need to get my products lab tested?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring compliance?
  • Non-compliances fines and penalties

Which products are regulated in Australia?

Several product categories, ranging from bicycle helmets and sunglasses to children’s toys, are regulated by a set of mandatory product safety standards. While there are also voluntary standards, we focus on the mandatory standards in this article. The following product categories are regulated, by at least one safety standard, in Australia and New Zealand:

  • Animals & agriculture
  • Baby & nursery
  • Bicycles
  • Boats & marine
  • Clothing & accessories
  • Fire & flammables
  • Food & groceries
  • Furniture, homewares & window furnishings
  • Gas & electrical appliances
  • Hardware & building materials
  • Health & cosmetics
  • Household chemicals
  • Novelties
  • Spas, pools & swimming
  • Sports & recreation
  • Tobacco & smoking accessories
  • Toys
  • Vehicles & accessories
  • Weapons

The Australian government lists all categories, to which mandatory safety standards apply, on Product Safety Australia. On this portal, you’ll find all mandatory product safety regulations and applicable AS/NZS standards. Continue Reading →

ASTM Standards When Manufacturing in Asia: By Maegan Burkhart

ASTM standards

ASTM standards reflect industry-standard best practices in the United States and internationally, covering both product quality and safety. While most ASTM standards are voluntary, some are referenced by mandatory product regulations – including CPSIA.

In this article, Maegan Burkhart of InTouch Quality in Shenzhen, explains what every importer must know about ASTM standards:

  • Which product categories are covered by ASTM standards?
  • How do I know which ASTM standard apply to my product?
  • How do I know if an ASTM standard is mandatory or voluntary?
  • How to design a product according to an ASTM standard
  • How to verify if a product is compliant with a certain ASTM standard

Continue Reading →

RoHS Compliance When Importing Electronics from China

RoHS compliance

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RoHS restricts heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in electronic products imported and sold in the European Union. RoHS compliance is mandatory, not optional, for importers.

In this article, you will learn how to ensure RoHS compliance when importing from China and selling to the EU:

  • What is RoHS?
  • Restricted RoHS heavy metals
  • Product categories
  • CE marking requirements
  • RoHS marking
  • How to find RoHS compliant components
  • RoHS compliance testing
  • Accredited testing companies
  • RoHS testing costs

RoHS and RoHS 2

RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) is a European Union product certification standard that limits the usage of certain substances (mainly heavy metals) in electronics. The restricted substances are listed below: Continue Reading →

The Importers Guide to EN Standards: By Ferry Vermeulen

european standards

Understanding EN standards, or harmonised standards, is an integral part of ensuring compliance when selling products in the European Union. In this article, Ferry Vermeulen of INSTRKTIV explains what an EN standard is, and what you must know to make sure that your products are fully compliant.

1. What is an EN standard?

EN standards are standards that have been developed by a standardisation institute, mandated by the European Commission and are in order to comply with one or more mandatory essential requirements from a specific European directive.

Products that meet the requirements of harmonised standards [applicable in all EU member states] benefit from a presumption of conformity with the corresponding essential requirements.

Generally speaking, harmonised standards contain the following content:

Scope – Describes the field of application of the standard.

Normative reference – Lists the standards that have been used and which are essential for the correct application of the standard.

Terms and definitions – Describes used terms and definitions.

Requirements – Gives detailed requirements on how to meet the more general product requirements from the related directive.

Warnings, markings, and instructions – Describes how to properly instruct users about product risks and inform them about important product characteristics?

Test methods – Describes how to test if a product meets the requirements and how to document this for the technical file.

2. Where can I find EN standards online?

Whereas directives are mandatory and can be freely accessed via the website of the European Commission, standards are voluntary and need to be purchased.

You can find them for example via the ISO, IEC, DIN or BS website. Continue Reading →

REACH Compliance & Restricted Chemicals When Importing from China

REACH China

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REACH is an EU regulation restricting chemicals, heavy metals and pollutants in all products. Products that contain excessive amounts of restricted substances, such as lead or AZO dyes, are illegal to import and sell within the single market.

In this article, I explain how you can determine if REACH testing is necessary for your products, and the steps you must take to properly ensure compliance.

What is REACH?

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and restriction of CHemicals) is a European Union regulation, addressing the production, importing and sales of chemical substances or finished products containing chemical substances.

Well, that’s pretty much everything. As an importer based in an EU country, this means that you are responsible for ensuring the compliance of your products. The responsibility can never be shifted to your Chinese supplier. Continue Reading →

EN 71 & Toy Safety When Importing from China

EN 71

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Starter Package: Children’s Products

EN 71 compliance is mandatory when importing toys to the European Union. Yet, many Importers fail to understand that EN 71 compliance is more complex than a printed CE mark.

In this article, we explain what EN 71 really is, and what you must do to ensure that your imported toys are compliant. The alternative is not an option.

What is EN 71?

EN71 is a set of European Product Safety standard that applies to all toys sold in the European Union.

EN 71, which is also a part of the CE directive, has been put in place to ensure that all toys sold in the EU meet certain minimum safety standards on the following factors: Continue Reading →

Electrical Safety Standards For US Importers: By Joey Kwok of CMA Testing

electrical safety

Today, US ecommerce companies and Amazon sellers, import electronics directly from Chinese manufacturers – without even having a basic understanding of product safety requirements and liability.

Electronics are high risk products. Reports of unsafe lithium batteries and chargers are frequent.

A major reason for this is the lack of information on what US electronics importers must do to ensure compliance. Believe it or not, but for many electronic products, there are not even mandatory safety standards.

Hence, many believe that they don’t need to care about compliance when importing power banks, or any widget that comes with an AC adapter.

That is not the case.

If, or when, something goes wrong – you will be liable. If someone is injured, or if property is damaged, you might be looking at millions of dollars in losses. It’s game over.

Instead, Importers and Amazon sellers must rely on ‘voluntary standards’ from UL and ETL, that are ‘de facto’ mandatory. At least for anyone who want to sleep at night.

These things are complex, but absolutely essential.

Luckily, we have worked with Joey Kwok Deputy Manager of CMA Testing in Hong Kong, and a leading expert on US electronic product regulations.

Notice: Be sure to read this one at least two or three times, and feel free to ask questions in the comment section below.

Joey, please tell us a bit about what you do at CMA Testing in Hong Kong

CMA Testing, is a well-known third party assurance body with rapid global expansion, specializes in testing, inspection and certification services.

Our worldwide networks have been spreading out rapidly to Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America.

Our compliance services cover toys, consumer electronics and electrical products, textiles & garments, materials, chemicals, food & food contact articles, furniture, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, environmental and more. Continue Reading →

OEKO Tex Standard 100: A Complete Guide

OEKO tex standard fabrics
OEKO Tex Standard 100 is a standard used to check harmful chemicals and heavy metals in apparel and other textile products.

Many Importers are familiar with OEKO Tex Standard 100, but are still uncertain whether compliance is required by law, and how the entire certification process works.

In this article, we answer some of the most common questions clothing and textiles importers have about OEKO Tex Standard 100:

  • What is OEKO Tex Standard 100?
  • Is compliance required by law?
  • What is the difference between Standard 100 and REACH?
  • How do I find Standard 100 certified manufacturers?
  • How do I verify OEKO Tex Certificates?
  • How do I book lab testing?

What is OEKO Tex Standard 100?

OEKO Tex Standard 100 is an international lab testing and textile certification system, applicable to both fabrics and finished clothing.

OEKO Tex, which is an independent organization based in Switzerland, created the 100 Standard as a collection of several international regulatory frameworks:

However, OEKO Tex takes it one step further than the US and EU, as the 100 Standard also includes the following:

  • Important legal regulations, such as banned Azo colorants, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, cadmium, nickel, etc.
  • Numerous harmful chemicals, even if they are not yet legally regulated.
  • Numerous also environmentally relevant substance classes

In other words, OEKO Tex Standard 100 sets the bar higher than any government or state agency in the world.

For Importers selling in several countries and markets, ensuring OEKO Tex Standard 100 is simply a matter of practicality, as you can be sure that you match the highest standard there is.

Notice: REACH is an EU regulation, that restricts hundreds of chemicals and heavy metals in textiles, CPSIA, which is only required for children’s products in the United States, restricts lead content in textiles. Continue Reading →