What is Certificate of Conformance (COC) and How to get one?

Mar 03, 2021 Chapter 6. Selling

When importing from China/Vietnam/Thailand/India, Most buyers are unaware of the exact meaning of the term “certificate of conformance,” which is one of the key reasons behind writing this article to enlighten clients and address their questions.

 

 

What is a Certificate of Conformance?

A Certificate of Conformance (CoC) is generally provided by an authorized party, which is a document that ensures whether a particular product has met the necessary standards of the specification.

 

What is the Purpose of a Certificate of Conformance?

If you intend to sell products in different markets, the products will need to meet various regulatory requirements or customs clearance. This document promotes trade by promoting consumer confidence in industries and markets.

For regulatory or customs supervision purposes, some countries may require CoC based on the category of imported products.

For example, your customers or buyers may need CoC when selling your products to different markets (such as the United States, China, or European countries). Usually, without a certificate of conformity, you may face the problem of putting your product on the market.

The ability to issue a CoC allows you to promptly put your products on the market. Delays in getting your product approved may also extend the time required or even prevent your product from selling, affecting your profitability.

On the other hand, by establishing applicable standards to improve process efficiency, having a certificate of conformity will speed up your inspection process.

 

What Is Required on a Certificate of Conformance?

The issuance of the CoC is to legally declare that your product has been produced and meets specific standards or specifications specified in market regulations.

It can also be specified in a specific contract with the buyer or company, including specifications, drawings, storage, packaging, labeling requirements, and a physical identification legally signed by the person responsible for the declaration.

Certificate of Conformance

 

What Details Are Included In the Certificate of Conformance?

Generally speaking, the minimum mandatory elements that should be listed in the CoC are:

  • Product identification, including the product description and related purchase order number involved in the CoC.
  • The identity certificate of the manufacturer/importer, such as legal name, address, and contact number.
  • A list of all safety regulations/standards that the product must pass.
  • A list of certificates issued to the manufacturer whose products have been tested and meet the requirements.
  • The date and place the product was produced.
  • The date and place where the product was tested for compliance with the cited product safety rules.
  • Any third-party laboratory/certification agency’s logo indicates who has performed the test or issued the certificate.

 

How Do I Get a Certificate of Conformance?

A COC will usually be provided to you by the manufacturer of the product itself; however, an independent laboratory will be issuing you the certificate of conformance in some cases.

A buyer can request to view the CoC to ensure that the product they are purchasing passes the criteria of tests and safety guidelines and is completely safe to use. These guidelines are usually mandatory. However, this solely depends on the region or country and what laws they might have regarding quality control and products safety.

 

Well-know Certificate of Conformity Issues Agencies?

Usually, governments will have a link with international agencies that go through certificates of conformance. It is recommended to check beforehand with the destination country before one actually employs an agency. This will ensure that the federation and authorities actually acknowledge the agency being employed in that country. A few well-known certification agencies are(free certificate of conformance templates froms):

 

 

What is the Difference Between a COA and COC?

1. Content

CoC usually does not include specific test conditions, test specifications, parameters, and test details in terms of content.

On the other hand, the Certificate of Analysis (CoA) has more strict and specific content than CoC. CoA records actual test measurements according to product design or manufacturing specifications. It also specifies some details, such as batch numbers for traceability purposes.

 

2. Issuer and authority

A CoA is usually issued by the Quality Assurance/ Quality Control personnel with authority from the manufacturer to indicate and authenticate that your products being sold (specified identification of lot/ batch number) fulfill its product requirements the accompanying test results detailed. 

The manufacturer can carry out the inspection itself, or the inspection agency can inspect your products according to the given specifications.

CoC can be issued by any authorized person/party, including third-party laboratories or certification bodies, to declare that your products meet specific testing standards.

 

 

what is Certificate of Conformance means

 

When Should a Buyer Inquire from the Supplier About the Certificate of Conformance (CoC)?

In most cases, the Certificate of Conformance (CoC) is asked for products that are of high risk or critical. This also includes separate documentation for these products to ensure that the customers are safe to use.

For instance, an airline company purchases fan blades that they can install in the airplanes’ engines. To ensure the safety of the lives on board, these blades must be scanned through an x-ray to ensure no possible cracks or defects present there. The presence of such defects could ultimately result in potential harm to the life on board. In such cases, a CoC has to be provided to ensure the safety of those blades.

There are also instances where one needs to view a CoC for every component and a serial number to prove how safe the components are.

 

Why Do Some Countries’ Customs Request a Certificate of Conformance (CoC)?

When importing certain types of goods, countries will request a CoC. In this situation, CoC is usually labeled as the Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Conformance. This document is provided by an authorized party and is proof of the certain specification being provided in the imported goods in question. For instance, it is documented proof of the presence of certain technical specifications in a product. This specific document is provided during customs clearance. Imported goods that do not have a CoC are either seized or simply destroyed.

Foreign Countries That Require Certificates of Conformity

Some countries require imported goods to have certificate of conformance. Examples of countries that insist on a certificate of conformance for most goods are:

  • Algeria

  • Mongolia

  • Belarus

  • Kenya

  • Kuwait

  • Syria

  • Uganda

  • Yemen

  • Russia

  • Saudi Arabia

 

Requirements for Certificates of Conformity in the United States

  • Goods that need to be regulated through consumer safety laws: Any goods that have been imported and are not intended to be used by children’s require a General Certificate of Conformity. The Certificate needs to properly state and display that the goods align with the US’s product and consumer safety laws. The manufacturer is to issue the GCC, which is usually checked upon receival of the products.
  • Vehicles: In the US, before you can actually put a vehicle on the road, you are required to issue and present its Certificate of Conformity from the EPA.
  • Manufacturing of Motorcycles: Every motorcycle produced, sold, or exported needs to have a Certificate of Conformity according to the EPA.

 

EU Declaration of Conformity

The EU Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is a mandatory document that the manufacturer or your authorized representative must sign to declare that your product complies with EU requirements. By signing the DoC, you will be fully responsible for your product complies with applicable EU laws.

 

 

Conclusion

The certificate of conformity is one of the important documents issued by your company that promises to provide products in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

If you have any questions about CoC or finding a recommended certification agency, please feel free to consult us.

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