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Production safety requirements: how to know them?

By Renaud Anjoran in 'Quality Inspection Blog'

Can you simply approve a sample, pay a Chinese factory to produce it, and then import the goods into your country? Do you know about the safety requirements for YOUR production?

Even China has quality standards for what it imports… Most Western countries have a long (and rapidly growing) list of requirements.

You should research these standards before placing orders. You might bring unsafe production in your country and endanger peoples’ lives without being aware of it…

There are basically three ways of knowing safety requirements:

  • Work hand in hand with a quality control firm. They have all the information you need, or they will find it. Then they will help you check if all requirements are met.
  • If you work with a large manufacturer, they probably know much more than you about it (their other customers from your country keep reminding them). Hopefully they will tell you everything you need to know.
  • Contact your freight forwarder and/or the customs department in your country. This way you can get first-hand information.

Let’s say, for example, that you are buying garments for kids, and you resell them on the Spanish market. Textile products are not particularly dangerous, so first-time importers often forget about safety standards.

However, it turns that the European Union has LOTS of requirements applicable to this particular case. It is intended to be used by children, so buyers should respect directive EN-71. Here is a partial list of safety requirements:

  • Polybag thickness & marking
  • Marking on the product itself (“Keep away from fire”)
  • Resistance to tension of all small parts that can be ingested by a kid
  • Seam strength, wherever there is stuffing underneath the fabric
  • Length of strings that could cause strangulation

If you take most toys, the list is 3 or 4 times longer–not to mention other directives that apply as well.

Has anybody found another source for this information?

Renaud Anjoran is the founder of Sofeast Quality Control and helps importers to improve and secure their product quality in China. He writes advice for importers on the Quality Inspection blog. He lives full time in Shenzhen, China. You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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