Certificates of Conformity for Qatar

A lot of Governments are now much more protective (and rightly so) about the quality of goods which are being imported into their Countries.  This means that an increasing number of products are required to have documentation, supplied at the import clearance stage, to prove that they meet specific technical standards in the country of import.  This has a number of advantages in that it prevents unsafe products from entering the marketplace; prevents the dumping of poor quality and sub-standard products so helping domestic manufacturers compete fairly and if international standards are selected, it makes it easier for reputable manufacturers to comply with little effort.

In the European Community (EC) it is possible for the manufacturer to issue a Declaration of Conformity (DOC) which makes the statement (and guaranteed declaration) that the equipment being supplied is in conformity with the requirements of an EC Directive.  A DOC can cover one directive or several.  If the equipment is covered by several directives, then a single DOC must cover the requirements of all the directives concerned.  If this is not possible, then the equipment may need to be covered by two or more different DOC’s, each of which may cover one or more directives.

The basic requirements of a DOC are as follows:

–  To identify the directive(s) with which conformity is claimed.

–  To identify the manufacturer of the equipment being supplied.

–  To identify any European representative of non-EC manufacturers.

–  Where applicable, to identify any relevant standards that apply:
It is not necessary to include all standards used, but usually only the C-type standards and any important  B-type standards.  It is important to include the year of the standard used since different versions of some standards are quite different.  Where several directives are covered on a DOC, then the standards relevant to them must be quoted as well.

–  In some circumstances if the equipment has a serial number this should be stated as well.

–  To be signed and dated by a responsible and senior representative of the manufacturer.

An EC DOC issued by the manufacturer, therefore, makes the statement that the equipment supply is in conformity with the requirements of an EC Directive.  However, in many cases, this declaration may need to be confirmed by an independent notary body, who are responsible for issuing Certificates of Conformity which are different from a DOC.   Essentially, such organisations don’t issue DOC’s.  Suppliers can also issue Certificates of Conformity and when they do it is a declaration that the product detailed conforms to certain contractual requirements and criteria.

However, Certificates of Conformity issued by specialist third party organisations such as Intertek or SGS are making the statement that they believe the equipment and the accompanying documentation are in conformity with the requirements of a directive based on the examination of a technical file.

Hence, there is a big difference between a Declaration of Conformity or a Certificate of Conformity issued by the manufacturer/supplier and one issued by an authorised inspection body.  In some countries, such as Qatar, the Certificate of Conformity required is usually one issued by an authorised inspection body and it is important to realise that these may result in additional costs for the exporter.

In Qatar, it is the Ministry of Business and Trade in conjunction with the Department of Consumer Protection and the Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology (QGOSM) who oversee and decide on the lists of products which require a Certificate of Conformity.  If an item on this list is imported into Qatar without the relevant Certificate of Conformity, then heavy fines can be imposed on the importer.  Therefore, it is now mandatory for Customs Clearance documents into Qatar, submitted by the importer, to include a Certificate of Conformity or a Test Report.  Such documents are deemed valid only for 12 months from their issue date and must confirm that the regulated products (with detailed descriptions and specifications) are in compliance with the applicable Qatar Sanctioned Standards and/or Technical regulations.

Evidence of conformity can be supplied in the form of either a Certificate of Conformity or a Test Reports.  Test Reports issued for products being exported to Qatar should be from ISO 17025 accredited laboratories with the testing based on applicable standard requirements.  In some circumstances, Qatari Customs will accept Gulf Standard Organisation (GSO) Conformity Certificates instead of Certificates of Conformity.

The following products need a Certificate of Conformity on import into Qatar.

Electrical – Electric Irons, Hair Dryers, Fans (Ceiling, Duct, Partition, Pedestal, Table and Industrial)
Vehicle Spare Parts including safety belts, wheel rims and brake pads.
All types of Children’s toys

Cosmetics, particularly Perfumery Products, Shampoos and Black Henna.  Please note that the status of products and ingredients for a lot of cosmetic items are now in line with EC Directives and GSO 1943, except for additional restrictions and prohibitions for Triclosan, Vitamin A, Sulphur, Urea, Zinc Oxide and AHA.  Also, Alcohol Hand Sanitisers are now classified as Health Products under SFDA.

Both Intertek and SGS can issue these Certificates of Conformity.

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 articles on International Trade on the Point to Point Export Services website at www.point-point.com



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