Shanghai FTZ further opens up to foreign certification bodies
09 June 2014
Shanghai's pilot free trade zone (FTZ) will further open up to foreign-invested certification bodies, the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has announced.
This is provided in the "reply to issues concerning approval and regulation of foreign-invested certification bodies in the free trade zone of Shanghai” issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
AQSIQ has agreed in principle to remove certain restrictions related to foreign-invested certification bodies in Shanghai FTZ, namely, the provision in the Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) on Foreign Investment Access stating that “a foreign investor of a certification body must be accredited by authorities in its home country and have three years of experience in certification activities.”
Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau stressed that this is a major initiative of institution innovation in the Shanghai FTZ by the AQSIQ and the Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA). They will further encourage foreign-invested certification bodies to operate in Shanghai and launch localisation services, thereby reducing certification costs of domestic enterprises. In doing so, Chinese import-export enterprises are better served and trade is facilitated.
According to China's WTO accession commitments, the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation was introduced in 2003 to allow the establishment of foreign-invested certification bodies in the country, provided that in addition to meeting the general requirements, a foreign investor of a certification body must be accredited by authorities in its home country and have three years of experience in certification activities.
With the increasing opening up of the Chinese economy, more and more foreign-invested certification bodies enter the domestic market providing certification services for Chinese exports. At the end of 2013, 37 foreign-invested certification bodies were approved by CNCA. Among these, 19 are in the Shanghai area.
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