China Compulsory Certification (CCC) is similar to other certifications for product quality standardization–such as the European CE system–but there are important differences. The CCC certificate was introduced in 2002 and applies to imported goods as well as to Chinese products. Products which require certification may only be imported, sold and/or used in business activities in China, after a China Compulsory Certification has been obtained.
Since October 2019 there is a CCC-Self-Declaration or a voluntary certification for certain product groups.
Failure to comply with CCC regulations will lead to imported goods being detained at the border or returned to the sender. Likewise, improper use of CCC licenses or printing a CCC-mark on products without certification will also result in fines and penalties. Even if a product does not need China Compulsory Certification, problems may still arise if a customs officer demands a CCC certificate. For this reason, Clearance Certificates are recommended in order to significantly reduce the risk of import-related problems.
The CCC replaced the certifications of the “China Import and Export Commodity Inspection Bureau (CCIB)” and the “China Commission for Conformity Certification of Electrical Equipment (CCEE)” thereby significantly simplifying foreign trade with China and creating a “level playing field” for all market participants. However, special certificates for medical products (SFDA) and telecommunication equipment remain in place.
The two most important elements of China Compulsory Certification (CCC) certification are product testing (products that are to be certified are sent to test laboratories in China) and factory audits (inspection of the product manufacturers by Chinese auditors). Once a certification is granted, it is valid for several years but must be maintained through annual follow-up audits.
The CCC certification, the China CCC Self-Declaration and a voluntary certification process also include comprehensive application documents, factory preparation and various payments and fees. Through the aid of a company like China Certification, the entire process can be completed within 4-5 months; without support, the process typically requires 6-18 months.
Manufacturers of products with a CCC obligation are required to apply for the CCC Certification with the responsible certification authority.