COVID-19 Notice: The Asia Import Platform is designed to ensure that you can manage the importing process from anywhere – at a time when it’s impossible to visit suppliers and attend trade shows in Asia.
Bureau Veritas launched their InSpec platform earlier this year, enabling small businesses and Amazon sellers to book quality inspections in more than 20 countries online.
In this interview with Chris Lai at Bureau Veritas in Hong Kong, you will learn why they launched the InSpec Platform, how you can use it to save time and money when booking quality inspections – and what you can expect in the future.
We are pleased to offer a coupon, IMPORT30USD, to all ChinaImportal.com subscribers today. Simply become an InSpec by BV registered user here and save an extra USD30 off your bookings until December 31st, 2019. Our standard price starts at USD245 per man-day when you book in advance.
About Bureau Veritas
Founded in 1828, Bureau Veritas is a global leader in Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC), delivering high-quality services to help clients meet the growing challenges of quality, safety, environmental protection, and social responsibility.
Bureau Veritas (BV) has over 12,000 TIC specialists including inspectors, auditors and lab professionals located in all the major sourcing and selling regions ready to help With rich consumer product knowledge, BV helps verify your product meets the safety and quality requirements for your destination market, and your factories maintain best in class process controls around quality, security, social and environmental compliance. Continue reading Bureau Veritas InSpec Platform: Q&A With Chris Lai
Many products made in China, and elsewhere in Asia, include components made of plastics that were melted and formed with the use of a mold or a die. And yet, not many buyers are familiar with that material and the related fabrication processes.
Once you’ve placed an order and wired the upfront deposit payment you’ve got two choices. You can either sit back and hope that the supplier will get your product right, or you can actively manage the process to defect early-stage quality issues – before it’s too late.
Doing so doesn’t require that you spend 2 months in a sleeping bag on the factory floor. In fact, you can manage order follow-ups from your phone or computer.
In this article, Gaël Tauvel, co-founder of Asiaction in Guangzhou, explains how to manage order follow-ups to ensure that the number of defective units is kept to a minimum.
This is covered
How often should importers follow up with their supplier?
What kind of information (e.g. photos and videos) should the supplier provide?
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
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.
In this article, John Gordon, founder of USA Corporate Services, explains what foreign ecommerce companies must know about the following:
LLC or Inc?
How to open a business bank account
Yearly maintenance costs
US taxes (and penalties) for non-resident foreigners
John, please introduce yourself and USA Corporate Services Inc
I’m John Gordon. I started the business now known as USA Corporate Services two years after graduating college. I was working in a low-paid job for a boss I didn’t get along with, and didn’t want to work for another boss ever again.
That was 35 years ago, and although it took several years to really get going, it’s a pleasure to still be here.
Twelve years ago I signed up for the Global Executive MBA program at Columbia Business School and London Business School. This was a very eye-opening experience that taught me more ways to give value to our customers.
Picture that you’ve found an interesting product on Alibaba.com, or at the Canton Fair – only to find out the hard way that the product is actually infringing on an existing patent.
Given the potential consequences, you got to be sure before you order your next ODM product. However, it’s often hard to assess if a products design or function is protected by a patent, and to what extent.
Thus, we decided to ask an expert – John Goodhue, patent attorney at Goodhue, Coleman & Owens, P.C.
John, please introduce yourself and Goodhue, Coleman & Owens, P.C.
My name is John Goodhue, I am a patent attorney at Goodhue, Coleman & Owens, P.C. (“GCO”) in Clive, Iowa USA. GCO is an intellectual property boutique law firm helping clients protect their innovations and providing legal counsel to help avoid infringing the rights of others.
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.
Send a shipment to a fulfillment center with a 10% defect rate and it’s game over.
In other words, your business stand and falls based on the accurate reporting of quality issues and defects, from your QC partner.
Now, what if QC partner accepts payments from your supplier – in order to not report quality issues that can potentially shut you down?
That’s a nightmare scenario for everyone importing from China.
But there are things you can do to save your business, before it’s too late.
Renaud, why is bribes a problem in the QC industry?
Many buyers are quite afraid of this, because the inspector does not report all of his findings. As a consequence, a batch of products that presents a serious and widespread quality problem is accepted.
It means the buyer pays entirely for an order, and (in the worst case) might be unable to use or sell the products. A lot of money is lost, and credibility is lost on the market. Materials have been processed and shipped across the ocean but have to be thrown away. It is a huge waste!
To make matters worse, as the buyer, you likely have no leverage over the supplier. Typically, the order has been paid in full at that point. Not many buyers have a strong enough contract and accompanying documentation that allows them to sue the supplier for the loss.
More than 95% of Chinese suppliers actually use the fact that you did a quality inspection before shipment to their defense.