What is Certificate of Conformance (COC) and How to get one?
When import 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. 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.
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:
Who issues the certificate of conformity?
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:
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.
What is the difference between COC and COA?
Certificate of Conformance:
This is a document provided by the manufacturer stating that the goods in question meet the given requirements set out. A CoC’s value is limited due to its traceability and because it does not reference any purchase order numbers.
Certificate of Analysis:
Similar to a CoC, the certificate of analysis states that the products being supplied meet any specifications and requirements set out for it. A certificate of analysis also provides test results, along with methods to prove this fact. Since the entire testing procedure is carried out to prove this point, a CoA is generally signed by the testing agency and needs more time and cost to be produced.
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