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
  • Notified Bodies
  • Fake CE Certificates

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

CPSIA When Importing Children’s Products from China to the USA

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CPSIA compliance is mandatory when importing and selling all toys and children’s products in the United States. In this guide, you will learn what both US and foreign importers must know about ensuring CPSIA compliance when buying products from China and other countries in Asia.

  • What is CPSIA?
  • CPSIA Regulated Products
  • ASTM Standards
  • CPSIA Tracking labels
  • CPSIA Lab Testing
  • Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)
  • Consumer Registration Cards
  • Amazon and CPSIA compliance

What is CPSIA?

The CPSIA regulates various aspects of a product. However, all children’s products are subject to the following:

1. All children’s products must be compliant with all relevant safety regulations

2. All children’s products must be tested by a CPSC approved laboratory (there are certain exceptions)

3. All children’s products must have a tracking label attached to the product and/or the product packaging

But that’s not all. The importer shall also issue a Children’s Product Certificate, which is a document stating that the imported product is compliant with the relevant regulations. Click here for sample templates.

Before you can issue a Children’s Product Certificate, you need to have your product tested. The CPSIA regulates various aspects of children’s products, including substances, labeling, flammability, durability, and physical proportions. Continue reading CPSIA When Importing Children’s Products from China to the USA

FSC Certification When Importing from Asia: A Complete Guide

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FSC certification in China

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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

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RoHS Compliance When Importing Electronics from China

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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

EN 71 & Toy Safety When Importing from China

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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

What is the cost of CE marking and certification?

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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 What is the cost of CE marking and certification?

Declaration of Conformity for EU Importers: By Ferry Vermeulen

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Product compliance is much more than just laboratory testing. European importers, in virtually every industry, are obliged to issue certain documentation – to demonstrate compliance with all applicable product regulations.

Perhaps the most important of all documents is the Declaration of Conformity (DoC).

It’s a rather complex topic, so we decided to ask an expert. His name is Ferry Vermeulen, founder of INSTRKTIV.com.

In this article, Ferry explains what every EU based importer must know about drafting a Declaration of Conformity, and the various other documents you need.

ferry vermuelen

Ferry, tell us a bit about yourself and Instrktiv.com

I am founder and director of business development at INSTRKTIV. After starting my own industrial design agency back in 2006, I co-founded the company Manualise in 2009.

As the CEO from 2009 – 2015, my content strategy brought the company over 15 #1 Google positions on main keywords like ‘creating user manuals’ which led to many international clients, such as Electrolux, AkzoNobel, Schneider Electric and Lid.

In 2016 I founded INSTRKTIV GmbH and moved from Amsterdam to Berlin. INSTRKTIV helps companies and brands to produce their technical documentation.

The company stands for content quality, both in the field of usability and liability: The manual as a legal document, which not only serves the keystone in terms of liability but also promotes safe and proper use, is at the core of this.

It makes me happy to help German and international companies developing appealing and compliant documentation which contribute to a better user experience.

In my ‘Man-Machine-Blog” I give hands on tips & techniques to improve the quality of content and improve the user experience. I cover topics like CE marking, the Declaration of Conformity (Read more) and Simplified Technical English. Continue reading Declaration of Conformity for EU Importers: By Ferry Vermeulen

Compliance Q&A with a Watch Manufacturer: Subcontractors & Substance Regulations

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watch cases

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We often write about product compliance on Chinaimportal.com. However, we thought it was about time to cover a different angle: The viewpoint of the supplier. During a recent visit to Shenzhen, I had the opportunity to ask a few critical questions to a leading, unnamed, Watch manufacturer. Keep reading, and learn more about compliance and risks in Watch manufacturing – lessons that can be applied to virtually any industry.

Can you ensure compliance with REACH, RoHS, CA Prop 65 and other substance regulations?

Yes, as our main markets are the United States and the European Union, we must ensure compliance with a variety of standards and regulations. Among them are those you just mentioned: REACH, RoHS and California Proposition 65.

Continue reading Compliance Q&A with a Watch Manufacturer: Subcontractors & Substance Regulations

Product Compliance in the LED Industry: A Case Study

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LED-Bulb-Lights

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Indeed, many Chinese manufacturers claim compliance with the relevant European Union (CE Mark) and American (FCC and UL) directives and safety standards. But does this really mean that they can maintain the full set of compliance documents for all, or least part, of their products? Well, we decided to find out. In this article, we offer insider insights into the actual state of EU and US product compliance among LED manufacturers.

LED Lighting Safety Standards & Required Documentation

As explained in this article, it’s a common misconception that it’s either the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure compliance or that the importer must only obtain a product certificate, test report or declaration of conformity. That is, however, not the case. First, as you may already be aware of, the importer is responsible for ensuring compliance – not the manufacturer. Second, as part of this responsibility, the importer must prepare all relevant documents.

In theory, the Chinese manufacturer should be able to produce these documents. Take the CE Technical File for example, which must include the following documents:

  • Declaration of Conformity
  • Test Reports
  • Circuit Drawings
  • Bill of Materials / Component List
  • Risk Analysis
  • Summary of Standards & Directives
  • Labels
  • User Guide

As mentioned, many importers make the assumption that they’re set as long as the supplier can produce a Declaration of Conformity, and the products are labelled with the CE mark. As said, this is entirely incorrect. A full set of compliance documents is mandatory. Now, how many suppliers can actually provide the full set of documents, rather than just the DoC?

Our Findings in the LED Industry

In order to not distort the result, we only picked relatively large LED manufacturers in the Pearl river delta. Some of which are established for over a decade’s experience in manufacturing LED lighting for the EU, US and other markets. Hence, we do believe that our results are representative for the industry as a whole.

Continue reading Product Compliance in the LED Industry: A Case Study

Myth and Reality of CE Marking When Importing from China

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The CE mark is a well known compliance marked, found on a wide range of different products, for example electronics, toys and machinery. The CE mark signals compliance with all, to the specific product, applicable regulations: For example the Low Voltage Directive or the EN 71 Toy Safety Directive. The CE Mark is not applicable to all products. However, it is mandatory for all products within its scope of regulations.

As I will further explain in this article, there is a lot more to CE marking than what meets the eye, namely the printed little logo. While many importers are aware that there are requirements for testing and documentation, plenty of businesses fail to understand how such documentation is produced, and what it must include.

Then there is China. CE marking procedures are not developed with importers in mind. While ensuring CE marking compliance is relatively simple for an EU or US based manufacturer, which is only concerned with its own products – it’s far more complex for importers buying from contract manufacturers in China, and other developing countries in Asia. We debunk 6 common myths concerning CE marking when importing from China, and explain the background to each one.

Continue reading Myth and Reality of CE Marking When Importing from China