Conformity assessment is the system to measure up to the requirements of standards and consists of components such as sample testing, inspection, process evaluation, certification, or mutual recognition of results. China has become one of the major trading partners of most countries in the world. The economic relationship intensifies continuously since the nation joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. Therefore, issues relating to the facilitation of bilateral trade are gaining more and more importance. The harmonization of Quality Infrastructure (QI) which involves conformity activities, helps avoiding, for instance, multiple certification or testing.
However, compared to Europe, the Chinese conformity assessment system is much more complicated. Matthieu David-Experton, CEO and founder of Daxue Consulting, explains: “Chinese government is asking for conformity to be run through its administration whereas in Europe the norm CE is simply claimed by the producer. The Chinese conformity assessment is closer to the German one for which products need to be approved by the government before it goes on the market. Also, the Chinese government is open to discuss norms with industry leaders to make them good and safe for the Chinese population.”
Daxue Consulting’s end client, a Federal Ministry of Germany, aimed to facilitate exports to China by establishing an enabling environment through reducing trade barriers. Therefore, the European state organization approached Daxue’s research team to support them with the execution of a Quality Infrastructure project by providing detailed information on the Chinese conformity assessment system.
As a first step, Daxue Consulting performed an extensive desk research comprising the evaluation of the current trading situation, the identification of top trading sectors and present trading agreements, as well as future expectations with regards to growth of exports and investment. Daxue’s research team additionally carried out an in-depth analysis of the Chinese conformity assessment system including
Daxue’s research team proceeded with conducting in-depth interviews with market professionals to confirm and deepen the knowledge of the Chinese system. This step helped the team to understand the roles of key actors and the fundamental processes of the Chinese conformity assessment system. Additionally, Daxue Consulting gained valuable insights on inefficiencies, and the team could detect significant challenges for foreign companies due to differences in the systems, different standards in different regions, or not yet evolved regulations due to relatively new business fields, such as e-commerce.
After cross-analyzing the gathered data, Daxue Consulting prepared the findings. The final report encompassed a comprehensive overview of the Chinese conformity assessment system and the whole processes, as well as the differences compared to the system of Germany. The research team additionally outlined trade development opportunities, and challenges and gave recommendations on how to harmonize the quality infrastructure between the nations.