Stakeholder meeting on product safety, accreditation and conformity assessment

China

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) recently held a stakeholder consultation meeting to identify which challenges the technical dialogues between Germany and China are facing within the Working Group on Product Safety (WG PS) and the Working Group on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment (WG ACA).

Stakeholder representatives at the product safety and accreditation and conformity assessment working group meeting. © GIZ-GPQI

On 02 December 2022, more than 35 representatives from quality infrastructure institutions, industry associations, and companies participated in a virtual stakeholder consultation meeting. Boris Böhme, head of the ICT technical regulation and standardisation unit at BMWK, and Dr Eric Schmidt, head of GPQI country component China opened the meeting. Böhme emphasised the importance of maintaining an active dialogue with China and highlighted the potential for digitalisation, including the digital product pass, to revolutionise not only the European but also the international conformity assessment world. Schmidt provided an overview of GPQI China's activities of the past year, including a workshop series on ICT products and a comparative study on conformity assessment in the field of AVF. During the meeting, the participants discussed the most pressing challenges they are facing in the areas of accreditation, conformity assessment, product safety, and market surveillance in China and Germany.

 

Stakeholder consultation: Needs and challenges

During the stakeholder consultation meeting, representatives of market surveillance authorities’ emphasised the challenges of tracing Chinese products along the supply chain and removing non-compliant products from the market. Non-compliant products can pose problems for consumers and market surveillance authorities, including safety risks, performance issues, financial loss for consumers, and disruption of the market. Therefore, it is crucial to have effective market surveillance bodies and mechanisms in place to quickly identify and address non-compliant products.

 

 

Additionally, stakeholders discussed the need for greater harmonisation of standards and regulations. Training sessions foster knowledge transfer and can help Chinese companies understand German and European regulations. In relation to accreditation and conformity assessment, German companies and conformity assessment bodies highlighted the CCC-accreditation process for foreign conformity assessment bodies as a potential cooperation focus in 2023. They also discussed the use of manufacturer declarations and provided guidance on Germany's Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz - LkSG).

 

How have China and Germany cooperated and implemented joint solutions in the past?

Overall, China and Germany have established a range of cooperative mechanisms to address non-compliant products, improve product safety and prevent trade barriers. These include mutual recognition agreements, joint inspection and verification programs and cooperation in developing standards. These efforts have helped to build trust and cooperation between the two countries, promote the smooth flow of compliant products and ensured the safety and performance of products exchanged between them.

 

Next steps for the Sino-German cooperation

The meeting provided insights into the interests and needs of the stakeholders. It serves as guidance for the cooperation on accreditation, conformity assessment, market surveillance, and product safety within the respective working groups. It showed that there are many relevant cooperation topics. Hence, it is mutually beneficial for both Germany and China to work on and to deepen the dialogue in the coming months.

 

 

Join us for the next dialogue!

If you are a representative of a quality infrastructure institution, industry association or company, then do not hesitate to contact us if you would participate in the QI dialogue with China.

 

 

For further information, please contact Dr Eric Schmidt.

- Accreditation

- Conformity Assessment

- Product Safety

 

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