There is a necessity for products to be credited a Certificate of Conformance Template, also referred to as Certificate of Conformity or a Certificate of Compliance. It is a document released by a competent authority to ensure that goods and services meet required specifications. Products and/or services usually undergo dissolution testing before they are certified and the guidelines for these testing processes are set by a competent authority. This, in turn, would require dissolution testers and their accessories to meet specifications which are set by such authority.

The specifications are generally physical in nature and they can be measured with appropriate equipment. There is a specified tolerance level set by the authority and products should pass these tolerances before being certified. All dissolution accessories are bound to conform to defined specifications and the certification that they produce is known as the COC or the Certificate of Conformance. Generally, it defines the tolerances that the accessories are subject to and such should fall within the tolerances defined by the authority.

Substandard imported products are deemed unsafe and unreliable and worse, they can inflict injury and sometimes death and can cause damage to property, Because of this, most countries around the world have adopted strict requirements to ensure that the consumers are protected from such goods. For many decades now, companies globally have depended on certain authorities to issue them the necessary COCs and to carry out inspections on export products, making sure that such products comply with the importing country’s requirements before being finally shipped out.

Certificates of Conformance Templates

A Short History About Certificates of Conformance

Primarily, a Certificate of Conformance Template is a declaration of conformity. For example, the European Union has its own conformity standards for imported products entering its domain. Imported goods, therefore, are subjected to homologation. This refers to the process of approving or certifying a product. This is done to verify that it meets the regulatory standards and specifications, such as the safety requirements and the technical requirements.

The COC document is a declaration by the manufacturer or importer that their product complies with the given approved type. Such document provides information about the product and its producer’s identification, the type approval number and other data. The purpose of the document is to ensure the free movement of goods, from the manufacturer or importer to the distributors or retailers, especially those goods that are subject to homologation.

The use of these kinds of certificates became official sometime in the 1990s. Part of the creation and development of the process of issuing these certificates was done to be able to reduce if not eliminate any technical hindrances. This is so that there are a freer exchange and movement of products in import and export. This effort has made the most impact in terms of checking standards in the automotive sector. The impact was that the technical and environmental standards in this sector had been harmonized. This has been particularly useful because the focus of setting the standards was mainly in the areas of safety, particle emissions and noise of the automobiles.

Since then, the rules involved in making and issuing such certificate had been developed further and refined. Nowadays, such certificates are already common. The issuance of a Certificate of Conformance has been used by many countries to ensure that the products entering their domain have been tested for safety, not causing injuries, death, and damage to property. Now that you are more aware of the history of such documents, let’s move on to the most common questions related to them. Along with these questions, we’ve included the answers to guide you in issuing and using such certificates.

Certificates of Conformance Form

Common Questions and Answers Regarding the Certificate of Conformance

When a manufacturer or an importer has issued a written Certificate of Conformance Form, it means that its product complies with all applicable consumer product safety rules. It also applies to other similar rules, bans, standards or regulations under any law enforced by the Commission for that product. There is, by the way, a separate commission for each product which would conduct extensive test programs for the product to ensure it adheres to safety standards.

Here are the most common questions regarding the certificate. We’ve also provided answers for them, for your reference:

Who is responsible for issuing the certificate?

It depends on whether you are an importer or a manufacturer. For products that are manufactured overseas, the importer must issue the certificate; for products manufactured domestically, the manufacturer issues the certificate.

The certification must always be founded upon the results of a test for each product or founded on a reasonable testing program. Legal responsibilities for the issuance of a certificate are always incumbent on the importer or the manufacturer, even if some other party provided assistance in drafting the document.

Who do I provide the certificate to after obtaining it?

The manufacturer or importer must always furnish the certificate to its distributors or retailers. It is a “must” that applicable products or a shipment thereof covered by the certificate should always be accompanied by such a document.

To satisfy the “furnish” or “accompany” requirements, the manufacturer or importer must provide its distributors or retailers acceptable means for the certificate’s access. An actual hardcopy of the certificate can be sent to the distributors or importers (through mail or messenger services), or you can provide the same electronically using a dedicated website URL that is provided on your invoice.

Furthermore, it is a federal law requirement that you provide upon request, a copy of the certificate to the Customs Commissioner. The use of a website URL comes into play because it provides easy access to your certificate, thus facilitating paperwork and resulting to a speedier process through customs facilities. If it is not accessible electronically, it is good practice to print out a hard copy and include it in all your imported shipments to facilitate customs procedures.

Do I need this certificate if I sell directly to consumers, without using distributors or retailers?

Although it is required by law to furnish a copy of the document to your distributors or importers, it is not required to furnish such to your customers if it involves direct-to-customers sales. This means that if you are selling the goods directly to your customers, then you don’t need to make or issue such a document to them.

What should be the basis of my certificate?

As stated earlier, the basis is on the test conducted for each product or a reasonable testing program. Issuing this document is very important since it serves as proof that the product is safe and has been tested. There are times when you would need this certificate before the product can be exported to other countries. This is because if the product is already in another country, it will be difficult for the customer to make a complaint, otherwise.

Are there available samples of this kind of certificate?

Yes, there are. There are samples of Certificate of Conformity Forms used by manufacturers and importers. You may copy the layout and title the document accordingly, then include the pertinent details to your product. Or if you prefer, you can even make your own form as long as it follows the right requirements.

Where should I file my certificate?

It is a requirement to file the certificate with the government. As mentioned earlier, it should accompany your product shipment and that the same should be furnished to your distributors or retailers. And concerning the Commissioners of Customs, the document should be furnished only upon request.

Can I use e-certificates instead of those printed on paper?

You can use electronic certificates as long as the Commission has reasonable access to it. There are times when this is the more convenient option so you can go ahead and make, then issue such a certificate. Just make sure you follow the right format and you have all other requirements, documents or attachments which need to go with it.

If I post my certificate online, do I need to make any changes when for different shipments or batches of products?

A single certificate is acceptable if each shipment is materially unchanged from the prior shipment. The important thing is it still has to describe the range of products which are covered. However, if you change the items in the shipment, or you add or reduce the items, then you may have to make changes in the certificate. Remember that the document has to be as accurate as possible so you don’t encounter any problems.

Is a certificate needed each time I ship my products?

Yes, it’s needed. It is required by law that each shipment is accompanied by the required certificate, and it applies to imported products and products manufactured domestically. For shipments with electronic certificates, a unique identifier will enable the easy access of the document through a website URL.

Do I have to affix my signature on the certificate?

No need to affix your signature on it. The mere issuance of the certificate already satisfies the requirement. However, if you have it on hand and you want to sign it that’s okay. Or if you are asked/required to sign it, then you can go ahead and do that.

Is there any kind of penalty if I fail to meet the terms of the certificate requirements?

Yes, there is a penalty for the failure to furnish a certificate or to issue a false one to that matter. The manufacturer or importer is liable for civil penalties and possibly criminal penalties or even the forfeiture of their assets. Make sure all the information written on the certificate is accurate. You don’t want to deal with legal issues just because there are mistakes or false information on your document.

Take special notice of these most asked questions regarding the application of the such a certificate. It will save you time and resources at the same time free you from any liabilities that may occur when the answers to these inquiries are not followed. Making and issuing a certificate such as this is essential. You can use it for different purposes. These uses will be discussed in the next section.

Certificate of Conformance Samples

Using Certificate of Conformance Templates

Products that meet the minimum set or requirements are issued the proper document before the product is allowed to be sold in a particular country. It is logical to assume that such requirements for a particular product will vary for every country. These certificate requirements usually include regulatory, technical and safety requirements for each particular product.

In complying with the requirements of a Certificate of Compliance, a third party could be involved, often times in the design or testing of the product.  Here are the uses of Certificate of Conformance Template:

For use in the automotive industry

The Vehicle type Approval is the certificate that production samples tested to meet the specified performance standards.

For use in telecommunications

Every jurisdiction that set rules in the communication industry has their own requirements on these kinds of certificates. All equipment, especially radio communications equipment is required to be tested for conformance and such tests may include:

  • Power and noise characteristics;
  • Use of permitted frequencies only;
  • Frequency stability;
  • Other electrical parameters.

For use in the American nuclear business

Sellers of goods to nuclear-generating facilities have required a Certificate of Conformance. The reason for this is to legally commit the seller to stating compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

For use in American Commerce

In American commerce, this document is defined as a one which is certified by a competent authority. It states that the supplied product or service meets the required specifications for that product. The document is also a lot/date/code specific certification that provides traceability of the product to its point of manufacture or point of origin.

For use in European Commerce

As in American Commerce, the European Commerce document is an equal declaration of the with the type approval of European Commerce. This document ensures the free movement of products within the European community, especially those under homologation, which we had previously defined.

On all the varied application of such a certificate, the main theme is that it is a document which certifies and/or approves for consumption a product after such product has been tested and that the results comply/meets regulatory standards and specifications, such as safety and technical requirements.

Countries which Require a Certificate of Conformance

Some countries require certifications for imported products to verify the quality of their safety. The document involved here is the Certificate of Conformance (CoC). Such is required so as to ensure customs clearance of shipments as well serving as a confirmation to the buyer that the products comply with the relevant regulations and standards in the country of import. The CoCs should contain all relevant data about conformance otherwise it could lead to the delay in Customs clearances or monetary penalties or even the refusal of Customs to allow the entry of the product to the country.

If a CoC is required by an importer, several agencies who have been granted authorization by the relevant importing government can offer assistance in the issuance of the document. But this certificate can only be obtained from authorized agencies and that the issuance is done as a requirement.

Some countries are required by law their exporters to issue CoCs for various products, like cars. But others will not require them at all to facilitate the exports of their products. Here are some countries that require a CoC to facilitate import customs clearance:

Algeria

In Algeria, a CoC is required for all exports and will be a documentary requirement under Letters of Credit which is the only payment method available at this time.

Belarus

In Belarus, the Coc is required for goods including appliances used in the household, any food items, textiles, cosmetics, goods for kids, lighting products, agricultural machinery, welding equipment, fire safety equipment, vehicles, lifts, and any products for the construction industry.

Kenya

In Kenya, some goods may not require the issuance of this certificate. However, this is something that the Kenyan importer must obtain permission for before the goods are physically shipped from the country of export.

Kuwait

In Kuwait, a CoC is required for all kinds of exports.

Mongolia

In Mongolia, shipments of subject goods with a FOB value which is less than US$500 will not require verification by an Agency with the authority. However, it must still comply with the requirements of the Mongolian Agency for Standardization and Metrology, otherwise known as the MASM.

The products which require certification include:

  • Certain types of Food, Beverages and Agricultural Products
  • Tobacco Products
  • Chemical Products
  • Fuels and Petroleum Products
  • Vaccines and Pharmaceutical products
  • Paints and Varnishes
  • Perfumes and Cosmetics
  • Soaps and Washing Preparations
  • Leather
  • Paper Products
  • Iron and Steel Products Tubes, Pipes and Products
  • Miscellaneous Articles made of Base Metal
  • Machinery for Food Use
  • Domestic Appliances
  • Toys for children

Russia

In Russia, a CoC has required all exports.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, a CoC is required for all exports. Even with this requirement, exporters must still expect random shipments to be subject to sampling on arrival to confirm compliance.

Syria

In Syria, a CoC is required for goods including toys and childcare products for kids and babies, electrical and electronic products (such as gadgets and devices), vehicles and automotive components, building tools and equipment, as well as chemical and household products.

Uganda

In Uganda, a CoC is required for all goods except products from East African Partner States of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

Yemen

In Yemen, a CoC is required for products such as food items (with an exception of prohibited food items), steel bars for reinforcement of concrete and construction timber.

Almost all countries do have their set of rules when it comes to issuing these kinds of certificates. But it is noteworthy to know that for countries that would require the CoC, the certificate should be correctly accomplished to avoid delays and penalties. This is important so you don’t have to deal with any problems when exporting goods.

TemplateLab October 10th, 2017