What is COC Certificate

What is COC Certificate: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

This guide will take you through every aspect of COC certificate.

From definition, importance, processes and all the critical aspects of COC certificate.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is a COC Certificate?

COC certificate is also referred to as the certificate of conformity or certificate of compliance.

It certifies that goods have met the required standards or specifications.

This document can either be requested by the importer or be compulsory for certain products depending on a country’s regulations.

 Certificate of conformity

Certificate of conformity

Why do you need a COC Certificate?

COC certificate is an important document when importing any goods not only from China but also globally.

A COC certificate is a requirement for several countries to ensure that products meet the required international standards before exportation begins.

This certificate speeds up your goods inspection processes.

It establishes standards and norms that provide a reference to improve manufacturing efficiency.

Not forgetting that the certificate of conformity is also used for customs clearance.

In addition to that, a certificate of conformity is used in quality control to prevent sub-standard products from entering the market.

Last but not least, you will need a COC certificate to ensures or confirm you’re your product is safe for use by the end-user.

How can I get a Certificate of Compliance?

The best way to obtain a COC certificate is through your local chamber of commerce.

The same body can as well provide their list of required testing methods.

What is Included in a COC Certificate?

Some of the contents included in a COC certificate are not limited to;

  • Product description as covered in the certificate of conformity.
  • Contact details of the individual possessing the test result records.
  • The month, year, city, and country where the product was manufactured.
  • Safety regulations that the product must be tested for.

The certificate must list every safety regulations that the product in question must be tested for.

  • Identification details of the manufacturer or the importer.
  • A third-party laboratory is responsible for conducting the test.

The laboratory issuing the certificate should provide the name and telephone number.

It also includes the full mailing address of the third-party laboratory.

  • Date and place where the product testing for compliance with the consumer product safety regulations was carried out.

Do I need a Certificate of Conformity when Importing Products from China?

A certificate of conformity only applies to a specified category of products.

Therefore, to know if you will require one, it’s important to confirm with the authorized party or officials.

Who Can Issue a COC Certificate?

A certificate of conformity can either be issued by the manufacturer or a laboratory that conducts the test.

What is a Conformity Statement?

A conformity statement is an expression that clearly explains the state of adherence or non-compliance to a certain standard or requirement.

How Many Types of Conformity Statements are there?

There are three main types of conformity statements namely;

  • Compliance – Some of the common use statements of compliance include; Pass, compliance, In spec, In tolerance, and with specification.
  • Non-compliance – On the other hand, non-compliance will have statements such as; Fail, out of spec, non-compliance, exceeds limits, and out of tolerance.
  • Indeterminate – Common examples of indeterminate statements are not limited to; Undetermined, unable to determine Pass/Fail, indeterminate, Not possible to determine compliance/ Non-compliance.

Sample certificate of conformity

 Sample certificate of conformity

How Long is COC Valid?

A certificate of conformity is valid for 10 years after the last manufacture date of the product.

This can only be different if the directive indicates another term.

Is COC Mandatory?

COC is mandatory for several countries globally to facilitate customs clearance and entry of safe goods into the country.

However, you need to keep in mind that the type of products you are importing will determine whether or not you will need to have a certificate of conformity.

Lack of it might lead to your goods being confiscated or destroyed.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate of Conformity and a Certificate of Compliance?

Certificate of conformity and certificate of compliance are two different documents that many assume to be the same.

The truth is they are not.

In simple terms, to comply means to meet the standards while conform refers to adhering to the standards.

That said, a certificate of compliance ensures that your goods meet the set standards.

On the other hand, a certificate of conformity ensures that your products adhere to the required standards.

Is there a Difference Between COA and COC?

Yes, there is.

COA otherwise known as certificate of Analysis confirms that the regulated product meets the required specification.

A certificate of analysis provides details of the actual results from the test to facilitate quality control of the product.

On the other side, a certificate of conformity certifies that the product meets the necessary standards and specifications.

How do you know the Authenticity of the COC Certificate?

The manufacturer or authorized representative issuing the certificate of conformity is responsible for making sure that the certificate is authentic.

However, you can get the contact information of the manufacturer about the COC certificate.

You can use this in case you need further clarifications regarding the authenticity of the certificate.

Also, doing online research and confirming the manufacturer’s certification is important.

A Certified manufacturer will most likely provide an authentic COC certificate to maintain the brand name and customers.

Alternatively, you can choose to directly contact your manufacturer and request verification of the certificate.

Keep in mind that not all manufacturers will be in for this.

Therefore it’s important to wisely select the people you’re working with before engaging in business with them.

Are there Countries that don’t require a CoC certificate?

A COC certificate is issued depending on the type of product you are importing from China.

Most of the countries will require you to present this document at the customs when shipping regulated products.

Very few countries are not part of conformity programs.

What is a Conformity Statement?

A conformity statement refers to an expression that explains the state of non-compliance or compliance to the set standards or requirement.

How is Quality Control done when Importing from China?

As most if not all of us know that China is a country where almost anything and everything can be purchased from.

That said, expect to encounter both genuine and counterfeit products in the market.

To counter this, quality control measures are enacted.

Some of the quality control measures you might undertake are not limited to;

  • Obtaining a certificate of conformity to control the entrance or exit of substandard products into or outside the country.
  • Conduct quality inspection on your products – Several inspection companies are willing to provide you with inspection services for your goods to ensure they meet the set standards.
  • Be specific on your product requirements – Assuming that your manufacturer knows everything concerning your product specification is a big mistake.

Always ensure that you clearly define every aspect that you want to be included be it color, type of materials, and size among others.

  • Purchase your goods under a contract – Purchasing your products under a contract will gear your manufacturer to maintaining your product quality.
  • Let your manufacturer be aware that you work with a quality and inspection company.

By so doing, you prevent your manufacturer from compromising the quality of your products.

  • Work with freight forwarders as well as sourcing agents – Freight forwarders and sourcing agents normally have a wider network and know where to source quality products for you.

Working with them will curb the risk associated with scammers as well as counterfeit products.

  • Confirm that your manufacturer is certified as this means that they also ensure that the products supplied are of good quality.

Which other Document do you need Alongside the COC Certificate when Importing from China?

Apart from the COC certificate, you will need to have several other documents at hand for the smooth importation of your products.

However, the documents required will vary depending on the policies of a country.

Not forgetting that different countries are part of international trade agreements.

Meaning this might exempt some paperwork needed during custom clearance.

Nevertheless, below are the standard documents you will need apart from the COC certificate.

 Certificate of conformity

Certificate of confomity

  • Commercial invoice –A commercial invoice is issued by the exporter and it gives details on the goods being imported, payment terms, and the trade.

It is one of the main documents and it is also used in determining custom duty.

  • Bill of entry – A bill of entry is normally filled by the customs clearance agents or importers before or upon arrival of the imported goods.

This document contains details such as types of goods, country of origin, and details of consignment and merchant.

  • Bill of lading – A bill of lading acknowledges the receipt of goods being shipped.

It is issued by the carrier to the shipper.

Not only does it confirm the quantity and condition but also the quality of the goods in question.

  • Inspection certificate– An inspection company issues an inspection certificate that confirms that your products have passed the required tests.

It also confirms that your products are fit for importation and consumption.

It contains details about the extent to which each product is covered.

  • Certificate of origin – A certificate of origin proves that the goods were manufactured and produced in a particular country of origin.
  • Import license – You will need an import license to confirm that you are allowed to import your goods into a country’s territory.
  • Sales contract – A sales contract refers to an agreement between the buyer and seller regarding the terms of the sale of the products.
  • Pro forma invoice – A pro forma invoice provides cost estimates of the goods and describes the products purchased.

Is a Certificate of Conformity offered Free?

No,  it’s not.

You will have to pay for it before being issued.

Which Products need a Certificate of Conformity?

A certificate of conformity is often issued on regulated products to ensure that they meet the required standards.

Some of the products that will require you to have a COC certificate are not limited to;

  • Electrical equipment
  • Gas appliances
  • Medical devices
  • Construction products
  • Explosives
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Machinery
  • Lifts
  • Energy-related products
  • Cableway installations
  • Radio equipment
  • Pressure vessels
  • Outdoor equipment with noise emission
  • Water boilers
  • Weighing instruments
  • Toys
  • Low voltage equipment
  • Recreational craft
  • In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices
  • Implantable Medical devices

Is a Certificate of Conformity the same as an Inspection Certificate?

Both certificates of conformity and inspection certificate serve the same purpose of ensuring goods meet the required standards.

Are there Countries that Don’t require a COC Certificate?

Yes, there are. However, most countries will require you to have a certificate of conformity when shipping regulated products.

Let’s have a look at some of the countries that require a certificate of conformity below;

  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Kenya
  • Algeria
  • Mongolia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • Yemen
  • Uganda
  • Syria

Which Agencies Issue Certificates of Conformity?

Most of the governments globally collaborate with international agencies responsible for inspecting and issuing certificates of conformity.

I also want you to know that it’s critical to make sure that you first confirm with the destination country.

This is meant to ensure that the agency is recognized by the officials in that country.

Here are some of the well-known certification agencies;

What Happens to Goods that Enter the Port of Entry without COC?

Any goods required to have a COC certificate should enter the port of entry with the certificate of conformity.

If not, they shall be prevented from entering a country.

When does the Buyer ask the Manufacturer for a COC Certificate?

The buyer can request a COC  certificate from the manufacturer when the products in question are categorized as high-risk or critical.

In some instances, a special document certifying the safety of the product will be required by the end-user/ customer.

Take for instance an army that buys explosives.

The explosives have to be checked and tested to ensure that they are safe for use.

A slight defect can result in a failure that might lead to loss of life.

Therefore, the manufacturer should indicate that the explosives have conformed to specific checklists.

In cases where the product has several components, every component will be provided a serial number.

In other cases,  batch COC is used.

What should you do when Submitting Product for COC Certifications?

When submitting a product for COC certification, the first thing you will need to do is fill out a “request for quote form”.

Check whether you need any additional documents at hand before requesting it.

Thereafter, a quote will be sent to you which contains all standards assumptions as well as pricing for the services.

Is COC Certification Mandatory in the USA?

 COC Certification

 COC Certification

A certificate of conformity can be a compulsory document when shipping products from the USA to certain parts of the world.

Some products are manufactured and produced in countries where product safety and performance are not fully adhered to.

Owing to this, a COC certificate becomes necessary when shipping your goods to such countries.

It is always important to first acquire your certificate of conformity before embarking on your shipping procedures.

Do you need COC Certification when Importing from China to Asia?

Unless you are importing regulated products, a COC certificate is not mandatory when importing from China to Asia.

It is up to you to ensure that your products are safe and confirm whether or not you will require a certificate of conformity.

How to know if Imports from China are COC Certified

The easiest way to confirm the COC certification of your products is by asking your Chinese manufacturer to provide you with the certificate.

Most if not all Chinese manufacturers are aware of the required standards of different products.

What Happens if a Product is not COC Certified?

If a product is not COC certified it means that it has not been tested.

Since COC certification is not mandatory for every product or country you shouldn’t be much worried.

If you intend to purchase any product from China or anywhere around the globe it’s important to familiarize yourself with the importation regulations.

This should go hand in hand with the standards to avoid later inconveniences.

Apart from the COC Certification, Which Other Types of Quality Certifications will I need when Importing from China?

Import-export processes can be quite hectic owing to the various kinds of documentation and certifications needed.

Before importing your goods from China, you should first confirm the documents that you will be required to have.

Among the required certificates are quality certificates which are meant to control the quality of goods being manufactured and exported from China.

Apart from a COC certificate, some of the commonly required quality certificates are not limited to;

  • CE certification – CE mark is a common symbol in most devices.

CE confirms that the product meets the required performance and safety standards as listed in European product directives.

  • CCC certification – The China Compulsory Certification is normally issued by bodies that are accredited by CNCA.

This quality and safety certification is not only meant to protect human health and safety but also unfair trade practices.

  • CQC certification – Otherwise referred to as China Quality Certification, the CQC certification is issued by the China Quality Certification Center.

Its main purpose is to confirm that products not only meet the quality and safety standards but also energy efficiencies.

  • UL certification – The Underwriters Laboratory certificate confirms that the product has been tested and met the required safety and quality standards.
  • RoHS certification –The main purpose of RoHS compliance is to moderate the amount of hazardous components used in the manufacture of electronic devices.
  • RED certification – The Radio Equipment Directive controls the marketing of radio equipment. It ensures the safety and electromagnetic compatibility for equipment that use the radio spectrum.

These are just some of the many quality certifications that might be applicable when shipping from China.

Remember, the use of each one of them will vary depending on the type of product you are importing.

Whenever you’re importing from China, BanSar will take you through all the processes to ensure all the necessary compliance.

In case you have questions or inquiries about COC certificate, contact BanSar now.

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