Product Specification Sheet

If you want to import goods with particular requirements, good communication between you and the manufacturer is crucial. For this purpose, you have to prepare a product specification sheet for the production. In this article, we describe what should be included in that document and how to make sure that the delivered goods comply with the order. It is especially important if you customize an imported product (OEM/ODM) and have additional product requirements.

Product Specification Sheet for import 

The product specification sheet for import is a document that serves as a guide for the factory that processes your order. Therefore, you should include every detail in it. Otherwise, the manufacturer will flood you with questions or act on its own accord. 

In many cases, ordering parties are not satisfied because the goods received do not meet their expectations. In fact, it may be their fault. All they had to do was to communicate clearly what they expected. 

The product specification sheet for import is not the same as a Technical Data Sheet or a Material Safety Data Sheet. These documents are prepared to meet formal requirements and are intended for the user, while the specification includes the importer’s requirements for the product. 

Tips for importers 

Before you start making demands, understand the manufacturing process of your product. Only then will you be able to assess whether your requirements can be met. You will know what questions you need to ask your suppliers, e.g. if they have the necessary machines. Moreover, your message will be clearer if you send the supplier a sample or a prototype (if you have one). 

Find out if your product must meet the formal requirements of the target market—it is important information for the manufacturer. 

Why do you need a product specification sheet for a supplier?

1. Tell the factory your requirements

When placing an order, do not leave the choice to the supplier. Give as many details as you can.

2. You will get better quality goods 

Chinese factories cut production costs by lowering the quality. Instead of general phrases such as “good quality,” write specifically what should be the quality of the materials used. 

3. You will get an adequate quote 

The cost depends on the materials, manufacturing overhead, and labor. If you provide the necessary information, the supplier will be in a better position to assess the overall production cost. 

4. Will serve as a model for an inspection

How can the inspector know what the model product looks like? The product specification sheet with designs is the model that the quality inspector can refer to.

What should be included in the product specification sheet?

The product specification sheet includes information such as:

Product name

The name of the product indicates what type of good it is. A specific product can have a code or a model identifier. 

Dimensions, weight, and quantity

The size of the product is one of the most important features. Depending on the product category, specify the length, width (textiles), height, diameter (cups), etc. In the case of different sizes, it is worth attaching a size chart (in clothing, the exact dimensions of XXS-XXL variations in centimeters/inches). Weight affects not only the user’s experience but also the freight costs. 

  • Chinese suppliers use the metric system, meaning meters, centimeters, millimeters, grams, etc. 
  • Do not forget to state how many units you want to order. 

Patterns and colors

Clearly describe the patterns and colors of the product. It is a good idea to include the Pantone color code, as the colors vary depending on display settings. Patterns, logos, and the placing should be sent in a vector file. It is essential to mark the form – whether the pattern has to be embroidered, printed, or in a different form. 


The raw material composition is essential when importing textiles and clothes; here, it is worth specifying the material thickness, fabric weight, or yarn. For cosmetics and processed foods, you must list the ingredients.

Product improvements 

If you want to improve the default design, include your modifications here. For example, you can replace the default overlock stitch with a chain stitch. 

Labels, packaging, instructions 

If the product must have a label, specify where it should be sewn, in what form, and what information it should contain (attach the design). 

The individual packaging protects the product and is also an advertisement. Make sure that the package design (e.g. cardboard box) is included in the order. The packaging must meet formal requirements, like markings, information about the manufacturer, etc. The final in-store consumer will use the EAN/GTIN/UPC bar code to purchase. Furthermore, you may request to have the product wrapped in foil. 

The user manual is required for products like electronic equipment, machines, and toys. The instructions must be in the official language of the target market. 

Certificates and markings

Only products with the required certificates and markings can be allowed into the market. Depending on the type of product and target market, it must have, for instance, the CE mark, energy label, or FCC mark.

For example, when ordering a steel furnace, you have to provide the requested parameters of energy efficiency class, direct and indirect thermal power, energy efficiency index, and use efficiency at nominal heat output. In the case of a TV, in addition to the energy efficiency class, you have to provide the screen size in centimeters/inches, the screen resolution in horizontal and vertical pixels, power consumption (W), annual energy consumption (kWh), power consumption in standby and typical modes (W). The indexes/classes should adhere to standards in target markets. 


Accessories added to the product can be used for practical or decorative purposes. For example, in the case of clothing, it may be an additional button sewn into the label (practical) or, if it is transported folded, a ribbon (decorative). 

Product specification sheet for import examples 

# 1 Product Name: women’s wool sweater, model: Jeanne

  1. ODM
  1. Dimensions: XS/S, S/M, L/XL (attached size chart in centimeters) 
  1. Material: 100% merino wool
  1. Yarn: superfine 17.5 microns
  1. Unit weight: ~ 200-250 grams
  1. Color: Pantone Tourmaline 16-441 
  1. Seam: French
  1. Type: jersey 
  1. Certificates and markings: Wool mark
  1. Printing: embroidery on sleeves (design attached)
  1. Label: on the side of the garment and in the neck of the clothing (design attached)
  1. Quantity: 1200 pieces (400 pieces per size) 
  1. Unit packaging: cardboard box with the company logo and crepe paper (design attached) 
  1. Accessories: a price tag on a string with a barcode (attached design) per unit 
  1. Packaging: cardboard (20 units in one) 

# 2 Product name: digital alarm clock, model: DES-38

  1. ODM 
  1. Dimensions: 120 x 40 x 25 mm
  1. Material: ABS, PMMA, steel
  1. Unit weight: ~ 150 grams
  1. Color: Pantone Volcanic Glass 18-3908
  1. Functions: clock, alarm, snooze, calendar, backlight, increasing sound volume 
  1. Certificates and markings: CE (declaration of conformity), UKCA, WEEE 
  1. Logo: on the top of the device (design attached)
  1. Quantity: 600 pieces
  1. Power supply: one AA battery
  1. Accessories: LR6 AA battery, user manual (design attached) 
  1. Unit packaging: cardboard box with the company logo and crepe paper (design attached) 
  1. Packaging: cardboard (20 units in one) 

A similar scope of information is included in the product card. You can write down information such as the price, MOQ, and HS code in your product card. You can use it to negotiate with suppliers and compare offers from various Chinese companies. Remember that you, the importer, must know your product and all formal requirements best. 

Want to receive a sample product card? Send us an e-mail! [email protected] 

How to ensure that the Chinese company manufactures goods according to the specification sheet?

After the supplier has passed verification, draw up a professional commercial contract in which you will include the terms of the cooperation. The product specification sheet can be included in the contract or added as an attachment. As soon as the supplier seals the agreement, the company undertakes to fulfill the contract, meaning carrying out obligations as it is in writing. 

After clarifying what you require, you must verify that the factory follows the guidelines by verifying samples and performing quality control. During such quality checks, the inspector assesses the situation on the spot. The first production checks should take place when up to about 20% of the order has been produced. At this stage, errors can be detected and corrected without significant losses. After completing the order, randomly selected items are verified. The last control is conducted during container loading, so you can find out if the products are properly packed and ready for shipping. 

The form of transport and the Incoterm rule should be agreed with the supplier. Goods from China can be transported by sea, rail, road, air, and multimodal transport. Each of these forms has its advantages and disadvantages, so choose the form of transport suitable to the type of product and your requirements. The transport rule is one of the Incoterms 2020, universal terms of purchase and sale. The use of rules is optional but recommended. There are as many as 11 rules, each of which sets different responsibilities of the parties to the transaction, the seller and the buyer. For example, when comparing CIF to FOB, those who buy on CIF have to face additional costs.

Product specification sheet for import – to sum up

  • The product specification sheet for import includes the importer’s requirements for the product.
  • To write such a document, you must clearly define what you expect and understand the production process.
  • The specification of the goods can be placed directly in the contract or attached.