Regardless of whether a product is imported or produced domestically, it is often required to obtain specific certificates, marks or licenses in advance in order to be granted market access. Certification, marks and licensing schemes in China are based on various technical standards, and could be:
- Vertical, i.e. applying to specific sectors or products only, such as the Radio Type Approval / SRRC for telecoms equipment; or cosmetics registration certificate.
- Horizontal, i.e. applying for certain features or characteristics of products found across many industries, such as the China Compulsory Certification (CCC), China Energy Label, China RoHS II, etc.
In general, electronic and energy-consuming products face the highest requirements, together with those products targeted for and used by children.
There are also a number of certification schemes that are voluntary (e.g., China’s Green Product Certification), yet they are strongly recommended as they often constitute the basis on which government incentives and subsidies are granted, or public procurement decisions made; and they are also a strong driver for marketing activities.
A detailed overview of both horizontal and vertical certification schemes for consumer goods is available in a dedicated report produced by the EU SME Centre at the end of 2022.