Certification is often required in many countries for designated products such as electronics and medical devices. Regulated products cannot be sold without certification marks if they have been designated as “compulsory certification products.” Product certification marks are used to inform consumers of the product’s safety and compliance to national standards. Countries often have their own certification standards and requirements that complicate the process for foreign manufacturers to bring their products into local markets.
On November 20, 2002, China and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows goods certified in either of the two countries to be marketed in China or Singapore without being re-certified. The MOU covers a number of controlled products including medical devices, rubber products, and electrical and electronic equipment. Chief Technical Supervisor of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA) and Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive of SPRING Singapore (Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board), signed the MOU in a ceremony in Beijing.
China had previously introduced their Compulsory Product Certification System (CPCS) on May 1, 2002. This system covers a number of products including medical devices, latex products, and electric tools. The two countries believe that the MOU will foster closer technical cooperation between CNCA and SPRING Singapore as well as encourage greater confidence in technical regulations and conformity assessment. Last year, trade between Singapore and China reached an all time high of S$22.4 billion (US$12.7 billion). It is predicted that the MOU will help further boost trade between the two countries by simplifying the product certification process.
Mr. Lee from SPRING Singapore commented, “With this MOU, Singapore exports of controlled products can gain direct access to the China market without having to undergo further conformity assessment. This not only saves our manufacturers and exporters time and money, but also ensures speedy approval and faster time to market for their products. Likewise, Chinese exporters will reap similar benefits from the removal of duplicative conformity assessment. This is a win-win situation for both sides.”
Besides China, Singapore has signed bilateral Mutual Recognition Arrangements with New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.