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2. Product Sourcing and Certification 22 replies,44777 views


This topic involves empowering you to search and find the customs and certifications necessary to import / export goods to / from your country. There is an incredible amount of information available and focus of this topic provides a starting point for diligent research.

This topic is divided into three sections

  1. Customs Regulations
  2. Homeland Certifications
  3. Sourcing Certified Products

1. Customs Regulations ...

Custom governs the import of goods. (not the import of fees, covered in step 12) This section prepares you to find the answers to the following questions. Will customs clear my goods through my home port? Is it legal to sell the goods in my country? What markings or certifications are required to comply with the law in my country?

Let us begin with a clear definition of Customs. From Wikipedia:

Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting customs duties and for controlling the flow of people, animals and goods (including personal effects and hazardous items) in and out of the country.

Depending on local legislation and regulations, the import or export of some goods may be restricted or forbidden, and the customs agency enforces these rules. The customs agency may be different from the immigration authority, which monitors persons who leave or enter the country, checking for appropriate documentation, apprehending people wanted by international search warrants, and impeding the entry of others deemed dangerous to the country.

The international standard for customs is governed by the WCO. Established in 1952 the World Customs Organization has a primary objection of assisting its members of 169 countries in developing communication and cooperation on customs issues. The WCO also develops agreed rules on customs procedures and provides advice and assistance to customs services.

The WCO has developed the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), a tariff nomenclature that is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers for classifying traded products. The HS is a six-digit nomenclature and individual countries have extended it to ten digits for customs purposes, and to 8 digits for export purposes.

The HS system is a basis for:

  • Customs tariffs
  • Collection of international trade statistics
  • Rules of Origin
  • Collection of internal taxes
  • Trade Negotiations
  • Transport tariffs and statistics
  • Monitoring of controlled goods (wastes, ****, chemical weapons, ozone depleting substances, endangered species

As you can see the information regarding customs covers many subjects and many countries. It would be near impossible to list all the information necessary for each particular case here. However, you can find most of the information you need regarding customs by using the following links: (World Customs Organization) (Harmonized Coding System)

In addition to HS, the European community uses the TARIC which is designed to show the various rules applying to specific products when imported in the EU,shown here ...

Marking and Country of Origin on US Imports

Every article of foreign origin entering the US must be legibly marked with the English name of the country of origin unless an exception from marking is provided for in the law.
More about Marking / Country of Origin (US) here: publications/markingo_2edoc/v1/markingo.doc

2. Homeland Certifications ...

This section involves the governing of import and sale of goods by country. We?ll begin by international standards and expand on this topic as more information is submitted by forum members.

International Certification and Compliance
The World Trade Organization is the only international organization that deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. The WTO has build a relationship with ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, the world?s largest developer of standards with a common goal of promoting a free and fair global trading system.

Here is a brief article by an Alibaba staff member regarding ISO and Quality control and compliance:

CE Certification (European analog of UL)If a product is sold or traded on the European market it can be certified by the manufacture or exporter. This process is called self-certification, meaning that if the product is in compliance with the required directives it can be affixed with a CE mark.
More about CE here:

And this forum thread offers great CE insights:

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. RoHS is a directive, not a law, that took effect July 1st, 2006. This directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment. It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods.
More about RoHS here:

UL Certification ? United States (US analog of CE)
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent product safety testing and certification organization. They develop standards and test procedures for materials, components, assemblies, tools, equipment and procedures, chiefly dealing with product safety and utility.
More about UL here:

Other countries have their own homeland Standards

(Australia etc ... List under development)

The Universal Product Code
Do you plan to retail your goods? Do you need a UPC printed on each item? The most widespread use of product codes appear on consumer products. A bar code is a machine readable representation of information in a visual format on a surface. More about UPC?s here:

3. Sourcing Certified Products ...

Take aim before you pull the trigger

By using the links provided you have taken the first step in saving time and money. What's the use in finding a great product, negotiating price, and receiving beautiful samples only to find out they don't possess the certifications needed to clear customs? If you know the products you're going to source, then you should also know the custom requirements for that product.

During your first interactions with your supplier you should be aware of the certifications necessary and inquire about compliance certificates. Don't waste your time and resources looking for something that is going to get seized or destroyed by customs. With that in mind, equip yourself with knowledge and information to alleviate as many problems as possible.

Sourcing Helpers in China

An efficient way to source product in China is to engage a Chinese Helper.These are generally familiar with UL,CE, RoCHs and the like.
Your Due Diligence Help in China


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Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]:

Very good information!
Thank you very much
I'm a local Chinese helper, living in Hunan, China. I used to be a foreign trade manager for nearly 7 years in China. Now I'm acting as a freelancer in the field of foreign trade. I can be your sourcing and purchasing representative and protect your interests at all times in China! Contact me, my Trademanager ID is: chinastin
Free consultation on foreign trade in China is available, I'm sure you'll benefit a lot if you cooperate with me. I can solve all the issues concerning foreign trade in China!
About Our Company

STIN (CHINA) BUSINESS SERVICES CO. , LTD (STIN for short) is a professional business service company offering Purchasing, Sourcing, Company Investigation, Quality Control, Pre-shipment Inspection and other busine... More

Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]:
Very very useful informations. thank you for all yoru efforts
About Our Company

We are designers,manufacturers and suppliers of Knitted /Woven garments and home textiles. We are having trained & experienced designers, production managers and QA people. We have the infrastructure to do all va... More

Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]:i think i have to study this well.It's very useful sources.Thanks[em3]
Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]: Dear Sir,
Thank you for this useful information.
I have one question, probably you can advise me something useful. How can I check whether a supplier is really a well established company, honest and will not take money and disapear. How can I check it from outside of Chine?

thank you.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon,
Best regards,
Re: Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [DocLarss]: For information on self-checking your chinese supplier take a look at this link:

It should get you on the right path.

Hope it helps

Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]:[em1]thanks heaps for the information it was really helpful.
Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]:

Good job, Robby! [em19] Why not write a book? Maybe I can help you print in China.

You wanna catch your own tail?
About Our Company

Sophie Zhou & Associates
Sophie Zhou & Associates, providing one-stop professional business service solutions for overseas clients, which let the customers to obtain quotes or locate a particular kind of factory, or source the exact prod... More

Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
Replying to [Rizzob]:

You are an asset to the process.

Thank you
Re: Re: Re: Product Sourcing and Certification
It was really good for all business man.Infact we also give such advises to our customers as we are into logistics outsourcing and we do point to point logistics for our customers.Apprecite spending time for this and let us all participate and help each other.

Any assistance need or any expertise advice on Logistics matters, please contact me. My trademanager id is connextionsk

Thanks once again.
Re: 2. Product Sourcing and Certification

Replying to [Rizzob]:

Hello! How are you?

The very good information!

In our life, and the information is especial in business

It happens even more dearly(more expensively) than money!

Also I want to set a question:

At the conclusion of the contract about joint activity

With the foreign partner, not by necessarily Chinese firm, what basic details need to be taken into account by the international legislation

My best regards

German [em17][em14]

Edit by Mod: Hi German. Please post your question on our Legal forum here ...

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