CE Marking When Importing From China: A Complete Guide

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Importing products from China to the European Union? Depending on the product, importers are required to ensure full compliance with all relevant CE directives – a process that is far more complex than requesting a test report from your supplier.

In this guide, we explain what you must know about CE marking as an importer:

  • What is CE Marking?
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Labeling Requirements
  • List of CE Marking Directives
  • Laboratory testing requirements

We also answer frequently asked questions about CE marking:

  • Are non-EU companies and exporters required to comply with CE marking rules?
  • Which products must be CE Marked?
  • Must all products sold in the EU carry the CE mark?
  • Is the importer or manufacturer responsible for ensuring CE compliance?
  • What can happen if I importer non-CE compliant products?
  • Are all Chinese manufacturers able to produce CE compliant products?

Continue reading CE Marking When Importing From China: A Complete Guide

FSC Certification When Importing from Asia: A Complete Guide

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FSC certification in China

Planning to import wood products or packaging carrying the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) from China, Vietnam or elsewhere in Asia? In this article, I explain how an FSC supply chain works, and what you must do to use the prestigious FSC logo on your product or packaging.

This is covered

  • Which products can carry the FSC logo?
  • What is FSC Certification?
  • FSC Forest Management Certification
  • FSC Chain of Custody Certification
  • FSC 100% and FSC Mix Labels
  • When can importers use the FSC Label?
  • How do I know if a supplier in Asia is FSC COC certified?
  • FSC when buying from trading companies

Continue reading FSC Certification When Importing from Asia: A Complete Guide

REACH Compliance & Restricted Chemicals When Importing from China

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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. That’s why we invited Compliance & Risks, based in Ireland, for help.

In addition, Compliance & risks – a leading product compliance company based in Ireland – answers some of the most common questions importers have about REACH.

Continue reading REACH Compliance & Restricted Chemicals When Importing from China

List of Product Testing Labs in China: An Overview

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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 List of Product Testing Labs in China: An Overview

Product Testing Costs When Buying from Asia – A Complete Guide

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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 Product Testing Costs When Buying from Asia – A Complete Guide

Australia Product Safety Standards: What Importers Must Know

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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 Australia Product Safety Standards: What Importers Must Know

ASTM Standards When Manufacturing in Asia: By Maegan Burkhart

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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 ASTM Standards When Manufacturing in Asia: By Maegan Burkhart

RoHS Compliance When Importing Electronics from China

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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 RoHS Compliance When Importing Electronics from China

The Importers Guide to EN Standards: By Ferry Vermeulen

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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 The Importers Guide to EN Standards: By Ferry Vermeulen

EN 71 & Toy Safety When Importing from China

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EN 71

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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 EN 71 & Toy Safety When Importing from China