Korea, China pursue mutual recognition of certification for electronic goods

Korea and China will see more electric and electronic products from Chinese and Korean brands entering their respective market next year.

Korean manufacturers have so far been required to obtain the China Compulsory Certification (CCC), before they are able to export and sell their goods on the Chinese market. The certification proceedings require companies to put their products through a quality test and additionally, put their manufacturing plants through a production system examination. The process is conducted by a Chinese certification institution. Chinese manufacturers, too, have until now been required to obtain the Korea Certification (KC) as part of the export procedure.

However, the authentication process costs companies from both countries a significant amount of money, and takes up to three months to complete. For example, an IECEE CB certificate, authorized by the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) obtained by Korean firms is inapplicable in China. In such cases, IEC approved goods are required to undergo retesting under Chinese certificate authorities.

To deal with this inefficiency and inconvenience, both governments signed a memorandum of understanding in March this year to mutually approve the other's certification procedures for electric and electronic items. Under this agreement, the two countries are able to apply the mutual certification recognition system on six items, such as televisions, adaptors and electric kettles, on a trial basis.

Deputy Minister for Trade Lee In-ho of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy talks about the agreement signed between Seoul and Beijing to mutually recognize certification for electric and electronic products during a forum held in Seoul on Dec. 20 to mark the first anniversary of effectuation of the Korea-China free trade agreement.

Next year, the agreement is set to be expanded to 104 Korean items which are currently required to obtain the CCC certificate, and to 173 Chinese goods which are subject to the KC mark.

Seoul and Beijing have agreed to expand the scope of electric and electronic products that can be sold in each other's market without additional product testing or assessments. The agreement was made on Dec. 20 at a forum held in Seoul, which aimed to seek ways for mutual growth as the Seoul-Beijing free trade agreement (FTA) marked its first anniversary this year.

The two countries have also signed an agreement to allow the judges of Seoul's certification agencies -- the Korea Testing Laboratory, the Korea Testing & Research Institute and the Korea Testing Certification -- to undertake the testing of manufacturing plants for the CCC mark. Chinese inspectors have so far flown in to conduct such testing, presenting a financial burden to Korean companies which are required to bear any travel and inspection expenses.

"The signing of an expansion of the scope of items under the mutual certification approval, as well as the signing of an agreement to grant Korean certification agencies the authority to conduct a product and plant testing will remove trade barriers that have existed between the two countries," said Director Chung Dong-hee of the Korean Agency For Technology and Standards. "This will have positive effects on bilateral exports and, also, will help companies of both countries to tap into each other's market with more ease. Both nations will continue to discuss ways to expand the mutual recognition of certification for not only electric and electronic goods, but also electromagnetic waves and non-electric & electronic items," the director added.

Source: Korea.net

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