Better understand and manage China’s import regulations – CCC for the automotive sector.
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Better understand and manage China’s import regulations – CCC for the automotive sector.

The trade and thus also the import of goods in China is part of the day-to-day business of many internationally operating companies. In the first step it is important to know the general trade regulations of the country and to implement them accordingly. In addition, it is essential to understand and comply with specific import regulations and control mechanisms.

Classification of the CCC system within state quality monitoring

Since March 2018, China has bundled all responsibilities for market surveillance in the central authority SAMR (“State Administration for Market Regulation”). The AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) is subordinated to the SAMR.

The CCC system (“China Compulsory Certification”) is a technical import regulation. Within the system, AQSIQ formulates a catalogue of products that must be certified and labelled. This catalogue mainly contains technical and electronic products. After the initialization of the system in 2002, CNCA (“Certification and Accreditation Administration”) is the responsible authority for its implementation.

Defective implementation of CCC will be severely punished in China

Without correct CCC certification and marking, trade in relevant products is prohibited. Both the import and the labelling of products without certification are illegal under Chinese law and are punishable by significant penalties. The measures range from sanction payments, scrapping of the products and a negative ranking by Chinese authorities to a general import ban. This underlines the importance and necessity of CCC certification. China imposes this import regulation in order to maintain product safety and protect the internal market against foreign competition.

The CCC system is based on national standards called “Guobiao” or GB Standard. The CCC certificate issued after successful certification has a validity period of five years. Changes within the validity period are possible and do not necessarily affect the expiration date of the certificate.

CCC for automotive products

For automotive products, the CCC catalogue comprises the ten safety-relevant product categories listed below: Safety belts, interior fittings, devices for indirect vision, door locks and hinges, tyres, safety glass, seats and head restraints, products with radio systems, lamps and mirrors. A legal basis with associated GB standard exists for each product category.

The process of initial certification is standardized: At the beginning, an application for certification is submitted, which must be accepted by the competent authority. The products are then tested in accredited laboratories. The manufacturing plant is then audited. If these tests are passed, the CCC certificate is issued for the first time.

After the first exhibition, annual surveillance inspections take place. These are aimed at checking quality assurance and ongoing compliance with standards. A renewal of the certificate can be requested within 90 days before expiration.

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Marco Mauler
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