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Certifying Products Aimed at Protecting Consumers

Domestic and foreign enterprises are urged to take notice that more than 100 products that are essential to consumers' health and safety, environmental and national security will be subject to compulsory certification starting from May 1 this year.

Companies that are involved in foreign trade are especially reminded that any products that have not been stamped with the "China Compulsory Certification" (CCC) mark will not be allowed to be exported from or imported into China.

A one-year transitional period will be allowed for all the enterprises making products that are on the list requiring compulsory certification, but they must all have implemented the new system by May 1, 2003.

China's product certification watchdog yesterday urged domestic and foreign enterprises to take quick action to adapt to the new compulsory product certification system, which was first announced last December.

"They (the enterprises) should make good use of the transitional period and apply for the compulsory certification early," said Qiu Yiliang, chief manager of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China.

"If their products are not marked with CCC, they will not be allowed to be exported, imported or sold," Qiu said.

Qiu spoke to more than 500 foreign and domestic enterprises attending a conference organized by his administration yesterday in Beijing.

On Friday, a similar meeting held in Shanghai attracted more than 600 entrepreneurs and officials.

The certification system features a set of applicable technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures, a single obligatory mark and a fee schedule.

Last year, the government also made public the first batch of products that must receive certification.

The 132 products, including electric tools, household electrical appliances and audio and video equipment, have relevance to the protection of human life and health, animals, plants, environment and national security.

"The measure reflects the fact that China is determined to fulfill its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) members," said Liu Weijun, another official with Qiu's administration.

"We will treat foreign companies and their products the same way we treat domestic ones."

China has been putting a lot of work into product certification since it restored its position in the World Standardization Organization, Liu said.

"However, some problems remains," Liu said. "An example is the two certification management systems we presently have for compulsory product certification, one targeting domestic products and other, imports and exports," Liu said.

Liu said one new obligatory mark is going to be applied to all products catalogued in the new list, which will replace the previous two, the Great Wall mark and the CCIB mark, after the transition period ends.

(China Daily February 5, 2002)

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