Product Safety - China

China: New hygiene standards for cosmetics.

On 1st July 2007, new hygiene requirements for cosmetics came into force in China. 

According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, which has overall responsibility, the new requirements are based on the relevant EU (76/768/EEC) and US directives. The major new development is the production of an index containing 1200 chemical products/chemicals which can no longer be used in the manufacture of cosmetics. Previously, only 412 chemical products were prohibited. 

Sunscreen products are also subject to much closer scrutiny. The intention is to introduce testing procedures for these products like the ones used in the USA. 

Domestically-produced cosmetics or those imported from abroad which fail to meet the new standardsStandards usually refer to the rules of engineering. There are also, however, standards relating to other areas. One such area is accountancy, which is subject to the International Accounting Standards (IAS). Standards promote rationalisation, make quality assurance possible, encourage safety both inside and outside the workplace, harmonise testing methods in such areas as environmental protection, and generally help create a consensus regarding the economy, technology, science, administration and the general public.

Standards also promote the free movement of goods and services. Within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), the application of harmonised standards makes it easier to prove conformity with basic health and safety requirements (CE marking) for a large number of industrial products. Standards are not created at state level, but by the very people who need them within the fields of finance, consumer rights, administration and science. Representatives from these fields invest their time and expertise in creating standards to suit both their own interests and the broader interest.

There are Swiss standards (SN), European standards (EN), international standards (ISO and IEC), as well as what are known as works standards. Switzerland’s body of standards (well in excess of 10,000 documents from every industry and sector of the economy and society) is maintained by the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV).
can have their sale or import prohibited by the authorities. Non-compliant products manufactured or imported before 1st July 2007 can still be sold up until their expiry date. 

Cosmetic products approved by or registered with the Ministry of Health before 1st July 2007 which contain a substance that is no longer allowed must be modified accordingly in terms of their composition. 

According to information from the Swiss Business Hub China, Swiss companies in this industry who manufacture their cosmetic products in accordance with the relevant EU requirements need not fear any major restrictions in terms of the Chinese market. Most affected are small and medium-sized manufacturers from China. 

There is currently no translation available of the new hygiene requirements for cosmetics in China. (pd/bns)

Contact: Swiss Business Hub China

CCC certification in China: Now applies to toys

In China, the obligatory certification and marking requirements known as China Compulsory Certification (CCC) have been extended to toys from 1st June 2007, and to additional motor vehicle accessories from the end of 2006. 

  • The following motor vehicle accessories are affected: 
  • Motor vehicle lights (headlights, reversing lights, fog lights, indicators, clearance lights, brake lights, rear fog lights, number plate lights), reflectors, odometers, brake hoses, rear-view mirrors, fuel tanks, door locks, door hinges, seats and headrests.
  • The following toys are affected:
  • Children's bicycles, tricycles, prams, baby-walkers, electrical toys, plastic and metal toys, dolls, toys involving projectiles (whether manually or automatically propelled). 

China Compulsory Certification (CCC) was introduced three years ago in China as an obligatory certification and marking system. The aim of the certification system is to create a single standard for selected products. It applies to both Chinese and foreign manufacturers. 

Experience has shown certification to be a protracted and expensive process. Currently, it takes between three and seven months to be granted certification (net processing time). The obligations and costs involved in certification should be regulated by means of the sales contract. The main difference in comparison to the certification systems of other countries is the fact that there is no accreditation of foreign testing bodies. In other words, type tests must be conducted in Chinese laboratories. Only the manufacturers themselves can be certified. 

The body responsible for managing and coordinating certification and approval activities is the China National Accreditation Administration (CNCA). This is the state institution responsible for quality monitoring, and is part of the State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). The authority responsible for technical testing is the China Quality Certification Center (CQC). 

The certification process involves the following steps:

  • Lodging an application with the Chinese authorities
  • Type testing in an accredited laboratory in China (lasts about six weeks)
  • Inspection of production facilities by Chinese inspectors (lasts four to six weeks, including preparatory work)
  • Issuing of the certificate
  • Approval for using the test mark or the acquisition of adhesive labels
  • Subsequent annual inspections (bns/pd)

Electrosuisse helps with CCC certification

For those exporting electronic products to China, Electrosuisse (formerly SEV) is an accredited testing and certifying body that can help with CCC certification (China Compulsory Certification). Services include: 

  • Handling of/help with the entire CCC certification process
    - Clarification of CCC certification obligations and associated costs
    - Applying to the CQC for CCC certification
    - Translation of the documentation to be submitted
    - Support in terms of preparing, conducting and paying for the tests required
  • Under the international CB scheme, Electrosuisse is authorised to carry out testing and certification which is accepted by the Chinese authorities, or used by them as part of their own processes. As a result, the time involved in CCC certification can be significantly reduced.
  • Support in terms of preparing for and carrying out the CQC production inspections
  • Product Certification for World Market Access

Contact details:
Electrosuisse, Luppmenstr. Contact person: Jürg Rellstab, Phone +41 44 956 13 18, Customer Service Center 
juerg.rellstab@electrosuisse.ch, Homepage: http://www.electrosuisse.ch

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