Friday, 26 March 2021

Introduction of China Compulsory Certification (3C or CCC)

 “China Compulsory Certification”, abbreviated as CCC or 3C. The CCC certification mark is“CCC”, which was formulated by the National Certification and Accreditation Administration Committee in accordance with the “Compulsory Product Certification Management Regulations” (Order No. 5 of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China).

China Compulsory Certification (CCC) is similar to other certifications for product quality standardization–such as the European CE system–but there are important differences. The CCC certificate was introduced in 2002 and applies to imported goods as well as to Chinese products. Products which require certification may only be imported, sold and/or used in business activities in China, after a China Compulsory Certification has been obtained. Since October 2019 there is a CCC-Self-Declaration or a voluntary certification for certain product groups.

The new compulsory product certification system came into force since May 1, 2002. To ensure the smooth transition between the new and the old system, the original product safety certification system and import safety and quality licensing system would be abolished from 1 May 2003.

According to relevant documents concerning the national compulsory product certification (hereinafter referred to as “3C Certification”), since May 1, 2003, if products that were included in the first directory of 3C Certifications (namely, of the 19 categories of 132 kinds of products) failed to obtain 3C logo, they cannot be for sale, import, and used in business activities. But for exceptional cases in production, import and business activities, Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China issued Notice No. 8 of 2002 and stipulated that some products can apply for exemption from 3C certification.

Here are some key questions related: 

What products need to apply for compulsory product certification?

The First Catalogue of Products Subject to Compulsory Certification (hereinafter referred to as “the catalogue)”, which refers to the attachments in General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China Announcement (2OO1, No.33 ) and 132 products divided into 19 categories jointly announced by China Certification and Accreditation Administration Commission.

1 ) Wire & Cable (5 types in total ); 2 ) Circuit switching and protection or electrical device connections( 6 types in total ); 3 ) Low Voltage electric apparatus (9 types in total); 4 ) Fractional electric motor (1 type only ); 5 ) Power tools (16 types in total ); 6 ) Electric welder (15 types in total ); 7 ) Household and similar appliances and equipment (18 types in total ); 8 ) Audio and video equipments ( not including audio equipment for broadcasting purpose and car audio equipment ) (16 types in total ); 9 ) IT equipment (12 types in total ) ;1O) Lighting equipment ( not including lighting equipment whose voltage is below 36V) ( 2 types in total); 11 ) Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (9 types in total );12 )Motor vehicles and safety parts (4 types in total); 13 ) Motor vehicle tires (5 types in total ); 14 ) Safety glass (5 types in total );15 ) Agricultural machinery ( 1 type in total ); 16 ) Latex products ( 1 type in total ); 17 ) Medical Devices (7 types in total ); 18 ) Fire control products (3 types in total) 19 ) Security and Protection products (1 type in total)

For more informatio related, please check it on: 

What are the procedures for CCC?

The certification procedures include all or part of the following steps; 1 ) Certification Application and Acceptance; 2 ) Type test; 3 ) Factory inspection; 4 ) Sampling; 5 ) Evaluation of certification results and approval; 6 ) Supervision after obtaining certification.

You can also apply CCC via a qualified agent in China, for more informatio related, please check it on: 

What technical materials should be provided by enterprises in the application?

The following documents are generally required. 1) general assembly drawing, electrical schematic diagram, circuit diagram. 2) key components and/or list of main raw materials. 3) the difference descriptions of the products of all sizes in the same application unit. 4) other required documents. 5) CB Certificate and report (if available), for more information please refer to the Implementation Rules for Compulsory Certification for the products.

How long is the certification cycle?

In general, CQC will identify the certification and inform the applicants in one to three months since its formal acceptance of the application.

What is the cost of CCC?

In accordance with national standards, the fee for CCC shall be collected by CQC. The applicant should submit the required fee for CCC to CQC according to the items, amount and back account listed by the CQC. The certification fee shall be slightly different with different certification bodies.

Here is the an example CCC certificate for your reference:

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Automatic Import License of P.R.China

1.What is the Automatic Import License

Automatic Import License refers to the import license for goods that require automatic import management legally issued by the issuing agency authorized by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China.

In the automatic import licensing system, there is no limit to the number of the import licenses to be issued to the importer, that is, for all goods listed under the license, the importer could import as long as they apply. The purposes of automatic import license are statistic collection and supervision, providing the government with information about major goods that could possibly do harms to domestic industry.

The application of automatic import license is free of charge. Normally speaking, the function of such licenses is not to restrict the import of products, but to provide statistics for import trade. Import License Program Agreement classifies import licenses into automatic and non-automatic licenses. Article 2 of the agreement regulates that“all members of the party acknowledge that if there is no other suitable procedures available, the use of automatic import license is necessary.” Therefore, the agreement allows each member to maintain the automatic import license. At the same time, the agreement stipulates the applicable rules and operation procedure of the automatic import license: the implementation of automatic import license shall not put restrict on goods listed under the license when the use of such license is necessary. Any individual, firm or organization in the business of automatic import could is qualified to apply for the license under the premise of fulfilling the law requirements of the importer. The letter of application could be submitted on any working day prior to the customs clearance of goods. As long as the application procedures are complete, approval can be made upon receiving the application within the management practicable. It takes no more than 10 working days.

2.What items need to apply for Automatic Import License 

In the year of 2013, goods listed under automatic import license are as follows:

I. Non-electromechanical products: beef, pork, by-products, lamb, chicken, milk, milk powder, soybean, canola, vegetable oil, tobacco, acetate tow, copper, coal, paper, scrap, aluminum, copper, iron ore, bauxite, crude oil, refined oil, natural gas, aluminum, fertilizer and steel, etc.

II. Second, machinery and electronic goods, including:

a. Product with commodity code issued by the Ministry of Commerce: CD production equipment, tobacco machinery, mobile communication products, satellite radio, television equipment and key components, automotive products, aircraft, ships and game consoles, etc;

b. Product with commodity code issued by local departments or office: steam turbine, engine (not for vehicles in Chapter 87) and key components, hydro-turbine and other power equipment, chemical equipment, food machinery, engineering machinery, paper machinery, textile machinery, metal smelting and processing equipment, metal processing machine tools, electrical equipment, railway locomotives, automotive products, aircraft, marine and medical equipment, etc.

3.How to apply Automatic Import License

The first step is to download and fill the registration form from the website of the Ministry of Commerce. The form should be stamped and signed or stamped by legal representative. The organization code certificate should also be provided.

Step two is to take stamped copy of business license to the Department of Commerce. Details of procedures and required documents could also be found on the official website of the Ministry of Commerce. Requirements for foreign companies and domestic ones are different.You can also ask a local agent to help you out if you are not clear. 

4.Non-automatic Import License

Non-automatic import license is also known as special import license. To import goods listed under non-automatic import license, application must be submitted to relevant departments. And the import could only be conducted after the approval and license are issued. Normally speaking, there is quantity limit in non-automatic import license. Relevant departments of the importing country puts limit on the import quotas for goods from different countries or regions. The amount of import may also be decided according to the sequence of submitting applications. The importer shall not import unless he get the import quota and import license.

Non-automatic import License

Non-automatic import license is essentially an administrative method to limit import amount. It is a common method of non-tariff barriers. Given the universal protocol of such measures, the agreement does not prohibit it directly. But the agreement does have requirements for the transparency and predictability. Article 3 of the agreement stipulates the detailed procedures of non-automatic import license: non-automatic import licenses should not go beyond the role it should play in the remanufacturing of additional trade restrictions or put further restrictions on trade distortions. If the license is to be used for purpose beyond limit on amount, relevant members should provide sufficient information, including amount, total value of the quota, deadline for the quota and any other adjustments or changes, to other members and traders for better understanding. The importing country shall not discriminate different individuals, firms or organizations that meet legal requirements. The importing country shall provide equal opportunities for application and obtaining the license. For those who fail to get the approval, the right to relief in accordance with domestic procedures should be provided.

In addition, it is suggested in the agreement to establish an“import license committee”composed of representatives in order to provide opportunity of exchange and discussion for the members. Information about the implementation of import license should also be reported to the committee by the members.

5.The validity period of Automatic Import License

Please note that Automatic Import License is valid for six months per time, the importer has to renew on time when necessary. 

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

2020 TOP 500 China Non-Public (Private) Enterprise

 Have you done any business with the top 500 China private companies before ? You do not have to audit them at all. "2020 Top 500 China Private Enterprises" is a list released by ACFIC (All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce) on September 10, 2020. Huawei Investment Holding Co., Ltd ranked first with an operating revenue of 858.833 billion RMB in 2019. Suning and Zhengwei topped second and third respectlively. 

According to reports, in 2020, a total of 5761 private enterprises with an annual operating income of more than 500 million yuan participated in the survey. The entry threshold of top 500 private enterprises reached 20.204 billion RBM, an increase of 1.618 billion RMB over the previous year. 

Here is the full list: 

Here are the top 20 private enterprises on the list: 





5.Country Garden: 


7.Legendholdings (Lenovo):






13.Weiqiao Pioneering:

14.Qingshan Holding:

15.Shagang Group: 






Wednesday, 9 December 2020

What is a Quality Control Inspection and How to Select a Right QC Inspection Partner in China

 Quality control can be defined as "part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements." While quality assurance relates to how a process is performed or how a product is made, quality control is more the inspection aspect of quality management.Inspection is a major component of quality control, where physical product is examined visually.

A quality control inspection is an activity of checking quality of any product, such as measuring, checking, examining, testing or gauging one or more characteristics of a product and comparing the results with specified requirements in order to establish whether conformity is achieved for each characteristic. The quality inspector usually follows a pre-established checklist that is based on the product specifications. Inspected products can be the components (raw materials) used for production, semi-finished goods, or (most often) finished goods before shipment to a customer.

Why you need a quality control inspection service in China ? 

To answer this question I can share an old story happened to our UK client years ago. He lost more than 120000 USD due to the quality issue in 2011. He placed an order of fitness equipment with a small factory in Yongkang, Zhejiang province. He purchased a sample and confirmed the quality before placing the order, however, the factory used slightly cheaper raw materials to reduce the costs in China during the massive production after the customer placed the order. And unfortunately the customer did not conduct any quality control inspection before loading in China, when he received the defective goods in UK, he found the problem and his end customers rejected the goods, what's more, when he called the supplier for a solution, the supplier did not admit anything as he could not offer enough evidence. 

This is a lesson for every importer and this is the main reason why you have to inspect your shipment first before loading in China for any large orders. Only by inspecting your shipment of goods before it leaves your supplier’s factory can you identify and address any quality issues before it’s too late. With the quality control inspection services, you can well control the quality of your product before production, during-production and before loading. Managing product quality with QC inspection lowers your risk of product returns, unhappy customers and many other costly and avoidable problems

How many types of quality control inspection ?

In case QC inspection is so important, so when shall we conduct the QC inspection? To answer this question, you have to understand the types of QC inspection first

Generally speaking there are 5 types of QC inspection services worldwide, that is: 

PPI - Pre-Production Inspection  

FAI - First Article Inspection  

DPI - During Production Inspection 

PSI -- Pre-Shipment Inspection

CLL--Container Loading Inspection  

but in China customers focus on following three main types of inspection in quality control: 

PPI - Pre-Production Inspection 

DPI - During Production Inspection 

PSI -- Pre-Shipment Inspection

Here are the details: 

PPI- Pre-Production Inspection

The Pre-Production Inspection (PPI) is a type of quality control inspection conducted before the production process begins to assess the quantity and quality of the raw materials and components, and whether they are in conformity with product specifications. This service is important for large orders in China because some unreliable suppliers may try to use cheaper raw materials and components to save costs during massive production.

A typical PPI inspection checklist includes, but is not limited to:

Verifying the raw materials and their conditions.

Inspecting planned storage for your products.

Inspecting a supplier's production readiness and quality plan

Inspecting the function, size, and measurement of raw materials and other components

Making the required reliability and safety tests

Making sure your specifications and sourcing requirements are correctly understood by the factory

Preventing any potential flaws and failure in the mass production 

DPI -- During-Production Inspection 

During Production Inspection (DPI) or otherwise known as DUPRO, is a quality control inspection conducted while production is underway, and is especially good for products that are in continuous production, that have strict requirements for on-time shipments. The During-Production QC Inspection is mainly an inspection of semi-products, stock of raw materials, production process, package requirements, workmanship etc during the production of your order in China.

A during production inspection takes place once 20-50% of your product run has been completed and packed. During a DPI inspection, a quality control inspector will inspect the completed product to ensure that all processes are being followed to the agreed standard. They’ll also look to identify any product deviations or issues early in the manufacturing process.

A typical DPI inspection checklist includes, but is not limited to:

Verifying the supplier follows the requested process and material specifications

Verifying the production and quality plan

Inspecting storage conditions

Inspecting packaging, labeling, and barcodes

Conducting reliability and safety tests

Inspecting semi-finished products

DPI inspections are useful as a quality assurance measure as it ensures that the quality of the products in production is the same as the one you received as a sample. It also gives you chance to make any necessary adjustments and corrections before the production run has ended, which can save you valuable time and money. If defects have been identified, knowing the percentage of finished products with defects also ensures that you have time to plan for them before they are shipped to you.

PSI -- Pre-shipment QC Inspection  

 The Pre-shipment QC Inspection is an inspection of all the finished products, documents, package, shipping marks, quantity etc of your order at the factory. This service shall be performed when the order is 80 -100% completed.This inspection is conducted on finished products when at least 80% of the order has been packed for shipping. This inspection is done according to standard Acceptable Quality Limits (AQL) specs for the product.

A typical PSI inspection checklist includes, but is not limited to:

Verifying the safety and function of manufactured products

Verifying the quality of products

Verifying the order has been produced to the standards set out in the purchase contract

Inspecting the product packing, labeling, and shipping marks etc

Checking the order quantity and the documents related 

A PSI inspection makes sure that the supplier has manufactured your products to your specifications and packed them as required by your purchase contract. PSI inspection is the most popular and important one as you can reduce the risk of receiving defective items. 

 How to select a right quality control inspection service company in China ?

There are tens of hundreds of inspection service companies here in China. How to select a right QC inspection service partner in China ? Here are my tips: 

If you are from a top brand and if you are rich enough, you can simply work with the well-known  inspection service brands like SGS, BV, ITS etc. They all have branches in China and they offer professional QC inspection and testing services as well. Here are their official websites: 


ITS ---

SGS -- 

BV --

TUV -- 

UL  --

If you from a small-mid company and if you'd like to save more time and cost, you can work with a local inspection service company in China. When you search a factory audit service online, you will find out hundreds of QC inspection service providers in China. Here are my experience in selecting a right inspection service partner: 


Ask them for their business license and check out their basic qualifications in China, say, business scope. 

2.Service quality

Ask them for their client information, call their current clients for reference to check their service quality. 


Ask at least three service companies for quotation, do not choose the highest one or the cheapest one, try to choose a right one based on your budget. 


Choose a right service company who is nearer to your supplier in order to save more travel cost and time. 

You can easily choose a right partner after checking out above four aspects. We are also professional QC inspection services here in China, please have a look at our website for details: 

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

What is a factory audit service and how to select a best auditing service partner in China

What is a factory audit or supplier inspection service ?  

In China, a Supplier Inspection Service is also called a Factory Audit Service sometimes, it is a kind of detailed company verification services and it is a standardized process used by quality managers or auditors to determine if a supplier or vendor conforms with the required business standards in delivering high quality products and services.

Generally speaking a full factory audit report may cover following parts: 

1.Supplier Details

This is the basic part of the audit report, it will tell you all the basic information about the supplier, covering their full company name, address, staff, facilities, boss, management level, bank account and tax ID etc. 

2.Qualification Audit

This audit is mainly to check out their Export License and other specific certification required. In China, not all the factories have the right to export because they do not have their own export license and every exporter must get an export license from the government first before selling to overseas market, this is why sometimes some factories have to work with a professional export agents in China as they cannot sell to their customers directly. Another important thing is that for some special products, the customers may ask for more qualifications in order to import smoothly, say, ISCC certificate for UCO and biodisel industry in Europe, FDA certificate for medical products in US, HALAL certificate for food products in Middle East etc. Other certificates like UL, CE, FCC etc are also very important for some specific products and areas during international business. 

3.Capability Audit

A capability audit, also called a capability assessment, is an on-site visit to your supplier's (or potential supplier's) facility. This audit is mainly to check out their production capacity, overall company management 

system and facilities etc to make sure they can fully meet your sourcing requirements in China.  

4.Quality Audits

A quality audit, also called a quality assessment, is an on-site visit to a supplier's facility. At that facility, auditors go through a series of checks to help you evaluate the effectiveness of their Quality Management System (QMS). The auditor will measure the effectiveness of the factory's Quality Management Systems (QMS).They'll evaluate them based on the ISO 9001 standard. And you'll come out with a much clearer picture of whether or not there are any quality risks to your supply chain.

5.Social Compliance Audits

A social compliance audit is to verify whether your suppliers or partners are in compliance with universally held norms and local laws related to social responsibility. These audits play an important role in helping to ensure an ethical supply chain. The auditors will verify the working conditions in the factory and to see if they meet defined criteria in the following areas: 

Child Labor

Forced and Compulsory Labor

Health and Safety

Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining


Disciplinary Practices

Working Hours


Management System

Social compliance audits are generally based on the SA8000 system (SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY), which measures social performance in areas that are important to your corporate social accountability.

6.Environmental Audit

An environmental audit is to assess their environmental management system. The audit report will give you a 

clear picture of their practices and helps you determine whether they are an environmentally responsible supplier or not.These audits are generally conducted based on the ISO 14001 family of standards, which are focused on verifying that the supplier has systems to“identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues in a holistic manner.” The key focus areas for these assessments tend to be the following:

Air pollution

Water and sewage issues

Waste management

Soil contamination

Climate change mitigation

Efficient use of resources

The assessments are designed for companies that want to develop and maintain a supply chain that is free of problematic environmental issues. Audit criteria are flexible and can be modified to suit the needs of your organization.

7. Security Audits

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is an initiative of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Its goal is to improve the security of private companies' supply chains with respect to terrorism. Our auditors assess the security and processes of your suppliers on-site to ensure compliance. 

A supplier is evaluated in accordance with C-TPAT standards. These audits generally include the following:

Assessing their physical access controls, including employee access controls, visitor access controls, delivery controls, and procedures for removal of unauthorized persons.

Reviewing their physical security, including fences, gates, parking, building structure, locking devices, alarm systems, and video surveillance.

Assessing their procedural security, including documentation processing, manifesting procedures, shipping & receiving, and cargo discrepancies.

Other items in accordance with C-TPAT requirements.While on the ground at the supplier's facility, our experienced auditors will gather all the information required to determine whether a supplier will meet C-TPAT standards.

Different clients may have slightly different requirements on auditing their suppliers in China.Say, for some Asian clients, they may focus on the Qualification Audit while for some European clients, they ask for Security and Environmental Audits as well. The cost is quite different based on the different audit requirements from the clients worldwide. 

Why do you need a factory audit?

You can't always trust everything your factory says. They can talk big and make bold claims about their facilities, equipment, production capacity, and internal quality control procedures in order to win your business. I remember a case five years ago, a South Africa customer was cheated by a supplier in Tianjin who claimed to be a big manufacturer. The customer lost more than 50000 USD due to the quality issue, when he came to China for a solution, the customer inspected their address and found that they are only a smallest trade company in China. Please keep in mind that according to our experience more than 80% of the Chinese trade companies or agents you meet online or at local trade fairs would like to disguise themselves as a real factory in order to obtain big orders. Some professional scammers use 'fake' export licenses or business licenses to attract foreign clients.Seeing is believing, the best way to check them out is simply to go and inspect them in person with your eyes. Factory (Supplier) Inspection or Auditing Service is so far the best way to find out a long term business partner or a qualified factory in China, esp for OEM services. 

How to select a right factory auditing service company in China ?

There are tens of hundreds of inspection service companies here in China. How to select a right auditing service partner in China ? Here are my tips: 

If you are from a top brand and if you are rich enough, you can simply work with the well-known inspection service brands like SGS, BV, ITS etc. They all have branches in China and they offer professional auditing services as well. Here are their official websites: 


ITS ---

SGS -- 

BV --

TUV -- 

UL  --

ALGI -- 

If you from a small-mid company and if you'd like to save more time and cost, you can work with a local inspection service company in China. When you search a factory audit service online, you will find out hundreds of factory auditing service providers in China. Here are my suggestion in selecting a right auditing service partner: 


Ask them for their business license and check out their basic qualifications in China, say, business scope. 

2.Service quality

Ask them for their client information, call their current clients for reference to check their service quality. 


Ask at least three service companies for quotation, do not choose the highest one or the cheapest one, you can choose the middle one as there is a Chinese saying like‘no good product or service is cheap’. 


Choose a right service company who is nearer to your supplier in order to save more travel cost and time. 

You can easily choose a right partner after checking out above three aspects. STIN is also offering supplier inspection and auditing service in China, please check: