Entry-Exit Inspection of Commodities

An Expert's View about Trade Compliance in China

Last updated: 22 Feb 2011

3.2 Entry-Exit Inspection for Different Categories of Commodities

3.2.1 Commodities Subject to Statutory Inspection and Quarantine
The Catalogue of Import-Export Commodities Subject to Compulsory Inspection and Quarantine lists the types of commodities requiring entry-exit inspection and quarantine. It also covers the contents of inspection. Provisions for the administration of inspection and quarantine for different commodities promulgated by China set out detailed regulations governing the bases, methods and procedures of inspection and quarantine.

3.2.2 Technical Standards for Inspection and Quarantine

Inspection is conducted by AQSIQ according to the following criteria: for import and export commodities listed in the catalogue, inspection is carried out in accordance with mandatory national standards; where relevant standards are not yet formulated, inspection is carried out with reference to foreign standards specified by the commodity inspection departments.

3.2.3 Supervision and Inspection of Foodstuffs

(a) Inspection of Imported Food

All imported food (including beverages, liquor and sugar), food additives, food containers, packaging materials, and food utensils and equipment must be declared to the inspection and quarantine authorities for health supervision and inspection. Under the management of inspection and quarantine authorities, imported food is classified into different categories by hazard ratings and inspected according to national health standards. Only those foodstuffs that meet requirements can enter China.

(b) Inspection of Exported Food

All food for export (including finished products and raw materials for human consumption and food prepared according to traditional methods with medicinal ingredients) must undergo inspection. Foodstuffs not inspected or not up to standard may not be exported.

(c) Registration of Imported Food and Animal and Plant Products

CIQ is responsible for formulating, revising and publishing the Catalogue of Imported and Exported Food and Animal and Plant Products Subject to Health Registration. The products in the catalogue mainly include processed food that can be consumed directly, such as canned food, beverages, liquor and condiments, as well as semi-finished products and raw materials, such as meat, aquatic products and vegetables.

Foreign food manufacturers may apply for registration with CIQ through the local food and hygiene authorities at their resident country. Those that meet CIQ requirements will be added to CIQ's list of countries and enterprises permitted to export food to China and issued special quarantine and health registration codes.

(d) Registration of Exported Food and Animal and Plant Products

All enterprises in China engaged in the processing and storage of food for export as well as the slaughtering of animals and poultry for export must first obtain a health licence from the local health department and then apply to the inspection and quarantine authorities for a registration certificate. Enterprises not granted the registration certificate may not process, produce or store food for export. Where overseas registration or recognition is required, the enterprises must apply to CIQ which is responsible for the unified handling of all the necessary foreign-related procedures. Enterprises failing to obtain approval or recognition from the importing country may not export food to that country.

3.2.4 Supervision and Inspection of Mechanical and Electronic Products

(a) Scope of Mechanical and Electronic Products

The Statistical Handbook on the Import and Export of Mechanical and Electronic Products (1999 Edition) compiled by the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Products Import and Export under the Ministry of Commerce includes a Catalogue of Mechanical and Electronic Products, which CIQ uses as the basis for defining the scope of mechanical and electronic products subject to entry-exit inspection and supervision.

(b) Supervision and Inspection of Mechanical and Electronic Products for Export

•Supervision by enterprise category

The inspection and quarantine authorities divide export enterprises into four categories according to their management standard and product quality:

- Enterprises with exemption certificates: the mechanical and electronic products for export of these enterprises are exempt from inspection;
- Category I enterprises: batch inspection rate 10-30%;
- Category II enterprises: batch inspection rate 40-70%;
- Category III enterprises: batch inspection rate 100%.

•Bases for inspection

For mechanical and electronic products subject to mandatory safety, health and environmental protection requirements, their standards must not be below the mandatory requirements set by the state. For other products, their standards can follow those stipulated in the trade contracts.


To facilitate exports, CIQ has introduced interim measures governing export quality licensing for special cases in the implementation of the export quality licensing system for mechanical and electronic products. CIQ also encourages enterprises to seek ISO9000, ISO14000 and other quality certifications. Enterprises awarded certification by institutions approved by the China National Accreditation Board (CNAB) are exempt from factory inspection and such certification may also serve as the basis for categorising the enterprises concerned.

•Registration of production enterprises exporting complete sets of equipment

China requires and encourages enterprises that produce complete sets of equipment for export to register with the local inspection and quarantine authorities. The inspection and quarantine authorities provide technical guidance free of charge to registered enterprises to help them meet foreign technical and quality requirements and comply with international practices in the course of production. Inspection is carried out jointly and is charged accordingly.
(c) Regulations for Inspection of Imported Mechanical and Electronic Products

•On 1 August 2003, the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) mark was implemented, while the old import commodities safety and quality licensing system and electrical products safety certification system were abolished. The CCC mark has since replaced the CCIB mark for import commodities safety and quality and the Great Wall mark for electrical products safety. Products which have not been issued the compulsory certification certificate and do not carry the CCC mark are not allowed to be imported or sold.

•A system of filing for the record is adopted for used mechanical and electronic products allowed to be imported. Imported used mechanical and electronic products not meeting the relevant requirements will not be filed. For the import of used mechanical and electronic products involving safety, hygiene and environmental protection, pre-shipment inspection and inspection upon goods arrival are required. As for other mechanical and electronic products, goods are only inspected upon arrival. For imports which require pre-shipment inspection, the filing organ would issue the Record for Pre-Shipment Inspection of Imported Used Mechanical and Electronic Products ("the Record"). For imports which do not require pre-shipment inspection, the filing organ would issue the Certificate for Exemption from Pre-Shipment Inspection of Imported Used Mechanical and Electronic Products ("the Exemption Certificate"). Upon arrival of the used mechanical and electronic products at the port, the consignee or its agent should present the Exemption Certificate (original) or the Record (original), Pre-Shipment Inspection Report (original), Pre-Shipment Inspection Certificate (original) and other necessary documents for customs clearance. After the entry-exit inspection and quarantine authorities at the port of entry has accepted the application for customs clearance, the relevant documents would be examined and on-the-spot inspection of goods may be conducted if necessary. For goods meeting requirements, the Import Goods Clearance Slip is issued, which will specify that the goods are used mechanical and electronic products.

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Posted: 19 February 2011, last updated 22 February 2011

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