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Certification of International Standards

With its abundant trading experience, Hong Kong can provide high-quality testing and certification services to mainland enterprises. Hong Kong can also supply them with international information in this area.

  • Practices of international trade: In recent years it is the practice of international buyers to use testing and certification by independent third parties as a reference in selecting suppliers. Reasons for the development of this practice include the following:
    • Requirements of the importing country/region: These requirements may cover product safety, environmental protection and social responsibility. Products must be able to meet relevant standards before they qualify for import into the country/region.
    • Requirements of the importer: Large importers, especially those for chain stores, may have their own product requirements covering such areas as materials used and manufacturing processes.
    • Industry standards: To cope with competition, some industries may establish their own industry standards.
    • Manufacturer showing its strength: Some manufacturers may take the initiative to obtain certification over and above the buyers’ requirements, in order to upgrade their image and enhance the latter’s confidence in them.
    • Preventing disputes: Organisations that provide testing and certification services are known as notaries. As the name suggests, such organisations act as notaries for the parties in the transaction to prevent disputes in the trade and negotiation process.
  • International certification services in Hong Kong
    • Scope of services: one-stop service for certification and consultancy

      Pre-productionSetting of specifications, advice on samples, testing of samples, evaluation of supplier, and technical consultancy.
      ProductionProduct inspection and testing at various stages.
      After productionInspection and testing of the finished product, and monitoring and audit of the loading process.
      RetailStore inspection, mystery customers, trade sampling, customer survey, freight survey and assessment of claims for damages.
      CertificationIssue of various certificates and provision of training for personnel.
      “Integrated supply chain” solutionThis is a solution specifically designed for consumer goods. Assistance is given to the client in setting testing and evaluation standards for every stage in the production process from initial development, purchasing, production, to retail. The aim is to solve all quality assurance problems.

    • Characteristics of services:
      • International recognition: As a hub of international trade, Hong Kong has a thriving exhibition and conference industry, and is a meeting point for international buyers from all over the world. Many multinational notary firms have set up bases in Hong Kong.
      • Worldwide connections and support: With its global connections, the certification industry in Hong Kong has a thorough understanding of the quality standards for various products in different countries/regions, and can provide professional and technical support to clients.
      • Latest information of the world market: Notary firms can provide their clients with information on international market trends, international practices, and the business culture in different regions.
      • Type of certification: Certification standards may be categorised into international standards, standards set by the certification bodies and standards set by the company itself. These standards may be reflected in the production and quality management system. Some examples of international standards are given below:

        Industry standards

        AutomobileTS16949, QS9000, VDA6.1
        FoodISO22000, HACCP, SQF, BRC, EuropGap, GMP
        ForestryFSC Quarlifor
        Information technologyISO27001, ISO17799, BS7799, ISO20000, BS15000
        Logistics/securityTAPA FSR, C-TPAT
        Medical and healthISO13485

        General standards

        QualityISO 9001, Audit Scoring, QM 9004, 5-S, ISO 10002, Lean Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard
        EnvironmentalISO 14001, IECQ HSPM QC 080000, Green Product Management System (WEEE/RoHS)
        Health and safetyOHSAS 18001, F&I U
        Corporate social responsibilitySRA, SA8000, Code of Conduct

HKTDC Tips (on certification)

  • Choose certification bodies recognised by international buyers: The core value in certification is trust. Some buyers only accept certificates and testing reports issued by certification bodies recognised by them. To avoid wasteful investment, it is advisable to make use of certification bodies with a multinational background or recognised by accredited international authorities. This is especially important for SMEs offering voluntary certification.
  • Choose suitable certification bodies: There are many notary firms in Hong Kong providing testing services. However, their scale of operation and core business vary greatly. For example, some notary firms specialise in building maintenance and valuation; some smaller notary firms only provide product testing services in laboratories.
  • Hong Kong rules and regulations: In Hong Kong laboratories must be accredited under the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS) for specific test areas/categories before they can issue HOKLAS-endorsed test reports/certificates for the areas/categories concerned. Therefore, a company must first of all have a good understanding of the type and purpose of the certificate it wants to obtain before choosing a suitable certification body.
Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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