CCC and more: Certifications for the Chinese market
Which certifications and product approvals do you need to know in order to enter the Chinese market with your products?
The People's Republic of China is one of the largest and most important export markets worldwide for numerous product categories. In order to ensure adequate product quality and above all safety of imported goods, different certifications and approval procedures are required for market access, depending on the product category.
CCC: China Compulsory Certification
CCC is one of the most important certifications that is mandatory for a wide range of goods before they can be placed on the Chinese market. Which product categories are covered by the mandatory certification is determined by the Chinese authorities CNCA (Certification and Accreditation Administration) and AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine). These publish a catalogue containing a list of the goods concerned, which is updated regularly. These include, for example, electrical equipment, rubber products, toys and automotive components. The CCC certification process, which takes several months, includes extensive documentation, laboratory tests and factory audits.
Approval of medical devices
In order to introduce medical devices on the Chinese market, they must be approved by an authority subordinate to the Chinese Ministry of Health, namely the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). The approval procedures differ depending on the class (I, II or III) of the respective medical product. For class II and III products, tests done by testing labs are always required. Among other things, the NMPA also requires documentation of the product to be tested in Chinese. If an audit is carried out at the manufacturer's premises, the implemented quality management system is usually checked for conformity with the "GMP requirements" of the Chinese authorities. An electronic registration system is available for handling the approval process, through which application forms and other documents can be submitted.
Approval of food products
The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China (CNCA) are among the most important actors for the approval of food imports. The first step is usually to check whether the food to be exported is included in the List of Food Imports Subject to Enterprise Registration. If so, registration with the CNCA is required. If it is also included in the Goods Catalogue for Automatic Import License Management, a license from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) is required, for example for certain animal products. Customs regulations must also be observed, as the acquisition of an Agricultural Products Import Tariff Quotas Certificate may be required for certain groups of goods. In addition, various Chinese standards must be observed for the proper labelling of the product.
Approval of electrical appliances
Electrical appliances, on the other hand, generally require a CEL (China Energy Label) label, which must be applied for at the China Energy Label Center (CELC) and provides information on the energy consumption of the respective appliance. Labelling with regard to hazardous substances ("Administrative Measures for the Restriction of the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products", also known as "China-RoHS") is usually also required for this type of product and must be applied for at the CNCA or the CQC (China Quality Certification Centre).
Approval of automobiles
As already mentioned, automotive components may be affected by the obligation to obtain CCC certification. If there is no CCC obligation for an automotive product, it is possible to obtain voluntary certification for this product. The China Certification Centre for Automotive Products (CCAP) is responsible for this and can issue a so-called CCAP mark. This allows, for example, the conformity of the product with relevant Chinese standards to be proven to Chinese customs or customers. Like CCC certification, CCAP certification involves a complex process including factory audits. Should the certified product require CCC certification at a later date, the latter can be obtained easily if CCAP certification has already been received.
In addition, various other approvals may be required depending on the product category. Certain items of equipment such as pressure vessels, for example, require a so-called SELO approval from the Special Equipment Licensing Office since 2014. Do you currently require product certification for a new export market or are you looking for an accredited testing laboratory? At firstname.lastname@example.org, the experts from the test and certification marketplace testxchange will be happy to help you.