One of the critical issues in the import process is recognizing whether the goods you want to import are subject to directives and what requirements they should meet. If respective documents confirming compliance with the specified standards are not attached, the goods are likely to be held up in customs. Consequently, the goods cannot be placed on the market. However, the products could also be detained if your contractor sent counterfeit certificates that supposedly confirm the product’s compliance with EU requirements. Check what to look for in CE and test reports.
CE and test reports – the first step
As mentioned before, the importer should first become familiar with the specific requirements for the product intended for placing on the market. Products that are required to bear CE marking are subject to New Approach directives. The harmonized standards also apply to the goods. There are at least two dozen product groups that must have the CE mark.
CE and test reports – aspects to remember
Once you make sure that the product you intend to import is subject to directives, you should require your Chinese contractor to send you the certifications to check whether they are valid. If the goods lack the required documents, you will not be allowed to place them on the market. If the counterparty is not willing to send certificates or the process is protracted, it signifies that they may not be a reliable partner. Therefore, it is recommended to have the company verified beforehand.
On the other hand, if you have received the required document without any problems, you should check whether the Certificate of Compliance or Conformity reads:
- Applicant’s name and address – if your counterparty is the producer, it should be their data.
- Manufacturer’s name and address.
- Product name and model covered by the examination – one certificate may be issued for more than one model, as well as other products associated with the model.
- According to which tests were conducted (Test standards); standards should correspond to the ones required for the product (included in the relevant directive, e.g., EMC).
- Certificate number (Certificate No., Verification No. for short).
What if the documentation seems fake?
If the certificates you received appear to be counterfeit (e.g., poor quality), it is recommended to contact the notified body that issued the documents (its name and contact details must appear on the certificate). When submitting, you must provide the abovementioned certificate number.
When you request the contractor for certifications, always require the counterparty also to attach test reports, which are the basis for issuing the certificate. Based on our experience, many fraudsters give up at this point.
The test reports should contain the same information as the certificate. The date when the tests were conducted should be written, and the information about whether the product passed the tests. The documents usually consist of several dozen pages with a detailed description of individual tests for each product. Test reports can also be verified by their number on the front pages (Report No.).
CE and test reports – why are they so important?
If your product is subject to directives, it certainly must meet the stated requirements. CE certification and test reports guarantee that the goods you import meet European standards and are safe for consumers. Therefore, the products will be admitted to trading.
Hence, it would be best if you dealt with this issue with the Chinese contractor at the very beginning. Otherwise, the imported goods will not undergo customs clearance, and at best, you will have to carry out costly on-site tests or else be obliged to dispose of the goods. To avoid unnecessary complications, you must make sure that the required CE certification, test reports, and other documents are complete and valid.