Chinese Compulsory Certification – when is it needed?

CCC covers a lot of products and policies governing CCC keep changing, causing the reference lists to be very dynamic.  The China Compulsory Certification (CCC) is, in essence, a safety licensing requirement put in place by the government of China it is administered by the government agency Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA).   It requires manufacturers to obtain the CCC before exporting to China and/ or selling certain products in China – the products captured under CCC are specified in the CCC catalogue and it is linked to commodity code numbers. Products arriving in China not meeting CCC China Compulsory Certification requirements or without the evidence that they are compliant may be held at the border by Chinese Customs Authorities and will be subject to other penalties.The easiest thing to do to keep updated is focus on a few product lines.  Here are some useful websites: 

New product categories have been added to the CCC China Compulsory Certification catalogue ( ).

The application process for the CCC China Compulsory Certification can take about ninety man-days or longer and it requires the submission of numerous technical documents, a product sample and testing at accredited laboratories in China.  General if goods require CCC self-certification or third-party testing results are not permitted.  In additions factory inspections by Chinese officials could be required ( ) which can take 12 to 18 months at the applicant's expense, which could be several thousand dollars( ).

Here is a quick Step list:

Step One: Determine Whether Your Products Require CCC China Compulsory Certification.
Examine the CCC product catalogue ( ) and determine whether your products, or component parts within your finished goods, require Certification. The CCC China Compulsory Certification product catalogue is a list, originally divided into 132 broad product categories, of all the products requiring CCC China Compulsory Certification.

Step Two: Apply
There are five major steps in the CCC China Compulsory Certification application process. The five-step application process includes:
1. Submission of an application( ) and supporting materials, including user guides, CB reports, EMC reports, regulatory labels and other information.
2. Type Testing. A designated test laboratory in China will test product samples.
3. Factory Inspection. Certification body will send representatives to inspect the manufacturing facilities for your product. They will inspect each factory producing your product (eg If your company manufactures Product Z in five separate factories, all of which ship product to China, you will need to have five separate factory inspections).
4. Evaluation of certification results, and approval (or failure or retesting).
5. Follow-up Factory Inspection. Manufacturing facilities for the product will be re-inspected by Chinese officials every 12-18 months.

Step Three: Note Other Chinese Licensing Requirements
Like many countries, China has multiple certification schemes. Though the CCC China Compulsory Certification is the widest-ranging certification requirement, your product may have to meet other requirements as well. For example, China's Ministry of Information Industry regulates telecom and internet equipment, and for certain equipment requires manufacturers to obtain a "Network Access License" and "Network Access Identifier Mark", which includes requirements for testing in Chinese test laboratories. Similarly, China's State Drug Administration requires product registration for certain medical devices.

(Thanks to our associate Johnny Xie for helping with this answer).


Written 16th May 2013 by Sandra Strong FIEX (CITA) Managing Partner Strong & Herd LLP

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