Certificates of Conformity

A number of countries require specialist certification which relates to verifying the quality and safety of imported goods prior to export. These documents are normally known as Certificates of Conformity (CoC).

Certificates of Conformity are needed to ensure customs clearance of shipments, may be required as a Letter of Credit document and as as a documentary requirement for Cash against Document payments, as well as confirming to the buyer that the products comply with the relevant regulations and standards in the country of Import. Shipping goods that require these Certificates without the relevant Certificate of Conformity can result in severe delays in Customs clearance (and the resultant demurrage costs as well as upsetting the buyer), financial penalties (fines or increased duty costs) or even refusal to allow the goods to enter the country.

Some countries require by law for their exporters to issue Certificates of Conformity for various products, (such as vehicles) although this can sometimes cause accusations that the requirement of such Certificates are damaging. Recently Moldova amended their law on the production of ethyl alcohol and alcohol products, allowing the export of wine products without the need to issue Certificate of Conformity to facilitate the export of Moldovian wine-cognac products.

Where Certificates of Conformity are required by importers, a number of different agencies, such as Intertek, Cotecna and SGS (Societe Generale de Surveillance), depending on whether they have been granted authorization by the relevant importing Government, can assist with the issuance of these documents.

It is quite important that these Certificates are obtained only from authorized agencies. It is also quite important that before the issuance of a Certificate of Conformity is agreed in any contractual agreement that checks are done to ensure that such Certificates are required and can be obtained through legal sources.

The countries which presently require a Certificate of Conformity to facilitate import customs clearance procedures include, (but are not limited to):

Algeria
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
Required for goods including household appliances, foodstuff, textiles, cosmetics, goods for children, lighting products, agricultural machinery, welding equipment, fire safety equipment, lifts, products for the construction industry and vehicles.

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

Kuwait
Required for all exports

Mongolia
Shipments of subject goods with an FOB value of less than US$ 500 will not require verification by an authorized Agency, but must still comply with the requirements of the Mongolian Agency for Standardisation and Metrology (MASM).

Products requiring Certification include certain types of Food and Agricultural Products, Beverages, Tobacco Products, Chemical Products (HS Code 25.23), Fuels and Petroleum Products, Vaccines and Medicaments, Paints and Varnishes, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Soaps and Washing Preparations, Leather (HS 41.04), Paper Products (HS 48.03), Articles of HS Chapter 68, Iron and Steel Products (HS Chapter 72), Tubes, Pipes and Products (HS Chapter 73), Miscellaneous Articles of Base Metal (HS Chapter 83), Machinery for Food Use (HS Chapter 84), Domestic Appliances (HS Chapter 85) and Toys (HS Chapter 95)

Russia
Requires a GOST R CoC for all exports

Saudi Arabia
Required for all exports but still expect random shipments to be subject to sampling on arrival to confirm compliance.

Syria
Required for goods including toys and childcare products, electrical and electronic products, vehicles and automotive components, building tools and equipment and chemical and household products.

Uganda
Required for all goods except products from East African Partner States of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Yeman
Required for products such as food stuffs (except prohibited items), steel bars for reinforcement of concrete and construction timber.

Maria Narancic from Point to Point Export Services is an independent international trade adviser who assists organisations world wide with their international trade projects, documentation, Documentary Credits and import/export training.  She is based in the United Kingdom.  If you require any further assistance with the matters mentioned above, please do contact us by e-mail on info@point-point.com or check out other international trade articles on the Point to Point Export Services website at www.point-point.com
 

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