Do you need help understanding some requirements when buying in China? You probably heard about required certifications before you can import.
When you buy a product from another country, there are important things to check. It is essential to check the specifications if you are going to sell it. A product must bear a certificate that it passed a standard for the safety of use.
Are you planning to buy electronic products? Do you know that there is a certificate you need to acquire before you can import? You must get this requirement if you want to buy gadgets from China, ship them, and sell them to your country.
We will discuss this topic that most importers ask about. We want to help you understand all about the Certificate of Conformity.
1. Introduction and What is CoC?
So you are shipping some goods to your country, and when it reaches Customs for clearance processing, the authorities are looking for one important document- the Certificate of Conformity.
1) What is the CoC?
When you are buying any goods or product from a supplier in China, you want to ensure that it passes the standards for the safety of use. It should prove that the user is safe from any substance or parts that can cause them harm while using it.
You want to buy products that comply with rules and standards. Thus, you need to secure a CoC, known as the Certificate of Conformity. Sometimes, we also call it a Certificate of Compliance.
2) What is the Certificate of Conformity?
The Certificate of Conformity or CoC document is given to a product that has passed the necessary standards. Without this, you cannot import, or the goods cannot enter the country it is shipped to. It is a requirement based on national regulations and laws for some products.
Your product supplier can provide the CoC. A company that conducts this certification is also authorized to give it. For example, if you are a buyer from the US and would like to buy some Bluetooth devices from China, you can request this to ensure the following:
（1） the product has been tested
（2） the product passed the technical and safety aspects
（3）the product has met the standard quality specifications
3) Why Do You Need Certificates of Conformity?
CoC is one of the documents you must prepare when importing and selling. If you are negligent about it, the customs may hold your products. This will cause delays and loss of money.
Some first-time buyers in China experienced challenges when shipping goods. If they cannot show CoC in customs, their goods will take longer for inspection or get stuck in customs.
So why do you need CoC? The certificate is required for the following purposes:
(1) Are you selling the goods in the market?
If you promote or sell the product in the market, you need CoC to pass customs clearance. It will also give the customers the confidence to buy and use the product because it has passed the quality and safety standards.
(2) Do you want to make the inspection process faster in customs?
With CoC, your goods will not have a delay during customs inspections. The customs authority knows that this certificate proves that an imported good has passed specific standards. Without CoC, you can incur more costs when it gets stuck in customs before it is released.
(3) Is it requested by your country’s Customs?
A CoC is mainly needed at customs to demonstrate that an imported good complies with the necessary standards. It is part of the general requirements when importing.
When clearing customs, they inspect if the imported goods have it in the documents. Products without a CoC may be seized, confiscated, and occasionally destroyed.
(4) Is it required by a country’s rules and regulations?
Some products require this certificate based on the rules set by a country for importing. For example, devices or gadgets with Bluetooth technology you sell in the US must acquire this certificate before entering the country.
2. Countries That Require Certificates of Conformity
Do you want to know which countries require this? It is interesting to know that many countries need CoC for compliance. Let us look into the following and see how it will benefit your import requirements.
The United States and EU countries are on the list requiring CoC. They have requirements that each importer must follow.
1) Certificates of Conformity Requirements in the US
Importing products to the US follows strict rules. As an importer, you must ensure that essential documents like CoC are acquired before they can enter the country.
When you want to ship any product from China to the US, you need to certify that the products are safe for use by consumers and will not cause danger.
For every CoC applied in a product, requirements are followed based on US regulations. Here are a few examples:
Every motorcycle made to be sold locally or abroad must have a CoC. Only certain motorcycles made for individual use or show are exempt from this rule.
For Cars or Vehicles
Before being permitted for use on American roads, all cars in the country are required to have CoC.
Products that must comply with consumer safety regulations
All produced or imported goods or products that are not intended for use by children must have a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC). The goods must be in accordance with the applicable consumer product safety legislation in the United States, according to the certificate.
The maker or importer is accountable for issuing the GCC. The document’s drafting may be assisted by a laboratory. Each product is examined as part of the certification process.
Although the GCC is not registered with the government, makers and importers must provide their distributors with a copy of the certificate.
2) EU Declaration of Conformity
It is a document you submit when marketing or importing products subject to EU countries. If you are a manufacturer, your company or your authorized representative must sign an EU Declaration of Conformity to certify that your goods meet EU standards.
It covers the product’s release date and must be retained for ten years. The EU DOC must be kept up to date by the manufacturer or the Authorized Representative based in the EU. The importer of the goods is accountable for the CE Declaration of Conformity if the goods are imported.
What it includes:
(1) The product’s unique identification number that refers to a product, type series, or batch.
(2) The manufacturer’s or his authorized representative’s name and address, who prepared the DoC.
(3) A statement indicating the manufacturer is fully responsible for issuing the EU Declaration of Conformity.
(4) A description that allows for the product to be tracked, including pertinent information beyond that indicated in point 1.
(5) It must include the standards with their references on technical specifications. It should be written in a precise, comprehensive, and understandable manner.
(6) If the Notified Body participated in the compliance assessment process, it must state their names and identification number.
(7) It states the date of issue of the certificate, together with the signature of the one who issued it.
The EU Declaration of Conformity is the same as the CE Certificate. By submitting this, you are fully responsible and accountable for your product’s compliance with all relevant EU laws.
When a product is put on the market in an EU Member State, the EU Declaration of Conformity should be translated into the language or languages needed by that state.
3) Other Countries that Require CoC are:
(14) Ivory Coast
(24) Saudi Arabia
3. Issuing a Certificate of Conformity
1) When should a buyer ask the supplier for a CoC?
After evaluating the product’s high-risk category for safety, the buyer must ask the supplier for a CoC. Sometimes, other documents are required aside from CoC to ensure that the consumer will not be in danger while using the product. For example, it will ask for a Certificate of Manufacture.
If you are buying these products, you must ask the supplier for a CoC:
|Matchbooks||Bicycle helmets||Power mowers||Architectural glazing materials||CB antennas|
|Garage door openers||Cigarette lighters||Multipurpose lighters||Swimming pool slides||Bunk beds|
|Cellulose insulation||Refuse bins||Lawn darts||ATVs||Bicycles|
|Furniture||Portable gas containers||Metal candle wicks||Paints and coatings||Fireworks|
|Pool and spa drain covers||Vinyl plastic film||Small mattresses||Carpets and rugs||Wearing apparel|
|Refrigerator doors||Smoking ignition mattresses||Drywall||Open-flame ignition special packaging|
2) Who Can Issue the CoC Certificate?
The product manufacturer issues a CoC. It can also be provided by a laboratory that is authorized to certify the product. They will certify that they have tested the product and passed specific standards.
3) How to Get a Certificate of Conformity?
If you are an importer or exporter, you need to secure a CoC by going to the local chamber of commerce or a business lawyer in your area or country.
It depends on the business location and industry where these CoC are issued. Aside from the licenses and permits, you need to get a CoC from an authorized agency or testing company.
You can search for a certificate of conformance template to get an idea of what it looks like and what information is on it.
4. Requirements for a Certificate of Conformity
CoC is not just a simple document that you can create or ask from your supplier. It is a legal document you must submit to the authority when importing goods. Thus, it must include all the quality, safety, and standards details.
Consumers can only remain confident about a product they buy when there is a guarantee that it has passed all the required standards and specifications. CoC, meaning Certificate of Conformity, will certify that the products you bought were inspected.
For example, if you are a parent looking for a baby monitor, you will not just base your buying decision on the product’s appearance. But you would carefully examine its specs and safety when you use it in your home.
1) Is a CoC Required for Each Product?
Depending on the importer’s import and export law, a CoC may or may not be required for a specific product. But products considered high risks, such as equipment used in explosive environments or those containing harmful substances, need a CoC.
For example, if you are importing Bluetooth devices to the US, it needs a CoC.
Since the requirement differs from every country, you must consult your government first if you need a CoC before shipping the goods to your country.
2) What information are written on a CoC?
The information found in the CoC is straightforward and relevant. Here are the details you will see from it:
The Product label or identification.
-It covers the description of the product mentioned in the CoC, including specifications.
List of all safety regulations.
-A list of all the safety requirements and criteria the product must meet or should be tested for.
Identification of the Importer or Manufacturer.
-It shows the name, complete mailing address, and contact number of the buyer/importer. It can also include the company’s name in the US that certifies the product.
Contact information of the person who keeps the records of the test results.
-Shows the name, complete postal address, phone number, and e-mail address of the person who keeps the test records supporting the CoC.
Place and Date where they manufacture the product.
-Includes the city/state/country where the product was made, plus the month and year of manufacturing.
Place and Date where they test the product.
-Includes the date when the testing took place and the location where the product was tested and certified.
The name of any independent laboratory
-The CoC must give the information of the lab’s name, complete mailing address, and phone number.
3) What is the difference between CoC and CoA?
Do you know that buyers must prepare two types of certificates to import goods to their country? One is CoC, which we are discussing. The other one is the CoA, known as the Certificate of Analysis.
As explained, CoC or Certificate of Conformity attests that the provided goods or services meet the necessary requirements. CoC can ensure that consumers can use it safely and protect them from dangerous or subpar goods.
On the other hand, a Certificate of Analysis or CoA is a document that manufacturers prepare to certify that the product they produce complies with the demands of their customers. Sellers should supply customers with products that are compliant with safety and quality.
Based on the product’s design or manufacturing specifications, CoA captures the actual test measurement. It also includes information for traceability purposes, such as the lot or batch number.
4) Which Documents are Required in Addition to a COC Certificate when Importing From China?
Importing is a challenging task! You and your supplier have to prepare the documents needed to get the products clear from Customs and reach the destination. So aside from the CoC, here are the essential documents that go with your shipment:
(1) Bill of Lading- the document that goes with your shipment stating the agreement between the shipper and the carrier
(2) Proforma Invoice- a preliminary bill or estimated Invoice used to request payment from the buyer for goods or services before they are supplied. It includes a description of the goods, the total amount to pay, and other details about the transaction.
(3) Commercial Invoice- this proves a sale transaction between the buyer and is used to assess the amount of duties and taxes that must be paid for customs clearance purposes.
(4) Sales Contract- states the conditions of a transaction or sale between the buyer and the seller. It provides details on payments, products, and other things.
(5) Import License- a legal document issued by the government that authorizes a person or business to import a specific category of products
(6) Insurance Certificate- a document that states the insurance coverage of products in case there is loss, theft, etc.
(7) Certificate of Origin- a document that certifies that all of the products in an export shipment were created in the same nation (country of origin).
(8) Bill of Entry- importers or customs agents files it as part of the customs clearance process.
(9) Inspection Certificate- s a document that certifies that the goods have been tested based on sales contract
5. FAQs about the COC Certificate
1) Can Customs require for CoC?
Yes. Some countries’ customs request a Certificate of Conformity for some product categories. But it differs from one country to another. They will look for CoC and other documents during the clearing process.
Without this, they will delay your clearance. It may cause disadvantages to the shipping of your goods. It also speeds up the inspection when you have this document ready.
2) How long is the validity of CoC?
The validity of a Certificate of Conformity is up to 10 years from the last date of its production. But in some cases, products with varying validity are based on their high-risk category.
3) What do you do when you are submitting products for a COC certificate?
You want to know the amount you will pay when acquiring a COC. In this case, you submit a Quote Request from the authorized agency where you will get the CoC. Once submitted, you will receive the quotation and other documents needed to get the CoC.
4) Is the CoC requirement the same for all countries?
No. Each country has its own rule and regulations when requiring CoC. Some do not need it at all when importing products. You need to coordinate with our business bureau to confirm and get a checklist of the requirements when applying for a CoC.
A responsible importer or exporter must know how critical documents are when making a shipment. The Certificate of Conformity is vital because it is not just a requirement before you can have the product shipped but also gives you confidence that the purchased good is safe for use.
When buying directly from a manufacturer in bulk amounts, you can ask your manufacturer to provide you with a Certificate of Conformity. The manufacturer must provide some specific elements or details of products, including the authorized personnel who can be contacted when a product needs to be tracked.
A Certificate of Conformity certifies that the product you will sell or market in your country meets all safety and quality standards. This document will speed up the inspection process when acquiring clearance from Customs.
Not all products has CoC. But high-risk products must have this document to enter a country or pass customs clearance. There are also international agencies that can provide this. You need to contact your business bureau for more details.
Getting a CoC may be challenging if you need to know whom to contact. JustChinait is here to help you process this document. We can assist you in getting one when you want to purchase products from China. Send us a message, and we will be glad to contact you.