QC on Importing Goods from China - Advice please on testing requirements!

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Teemsta, Jul 12, 2010.

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  1. Teemsta

    Teemsta UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I have recently started at a company that imports goods from the Far East. They brand these products as their own and sell them to the general public under this brand. Until now, this company has not adopted any QC into their purchasing and it has landed to me to sort this out. However, I am really struggling to find out what the general approach is used and what I am suggesting is being met with some serious hesitation!

    Lets take for example a power tool. Its a new product for us to be branded in our name and we have never purchased it before. We are only looking to buy about 100 units as a start to see if they sell. CE, EMC, LVD, etc certs have been received so we are confident it is ok from this viewpoint. However, what we don't know (and have been stung for in the past) is whether it actually does what it says on the tin! I suggested they have a sample tested externally, but has been met with massive obstruction from both our buyer and the supplier due to the cost implications.

    So, as someone with limited experience, I would like to ask what would normally be done to assess function and operational performance? Would you have samples tested externally? Should this have already been done if they are offering a product to market? Etc, Etc

    Please, any advice massively appreciated! :D
    Posted: Jul 12, 2010 By: Teemsta Member since: Jul 12, 2010
  2. LicensedToTrade

    LicensedToTrade UKBF Legend Free Member

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    QC is important, particularly when dealing with high-powered electrical tools. Yes the cost can give cause for concern, but consider the cost of selling just one unit that doesn't work properly or causes an accident.

    Even with good QC measures you will always get units that go wrong, but if you are taken to court you can at least prove that you took all reasonable measures to ensure this product was of a quality that was safe to use and fit for purpose. The costs of not having a QC policy will vastly outweight the costs of having one.

    As for who pays for it, that is all down to negotiation. If you supplier has met all of the required british and european standards then he isn't obliged to fund your additional external testing. But if you don't want to pay for it then it is down to you to negotiate with them to secure this external testing. Are there other suppliers that you could approach?
    Posted: Jul 12, 2010 By: LicensedToTrade Member since: Nov 7, 2009
  3. Teemsta

    Teemsta UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify, I am fully behind the QC testing its the supplier and purchaser that are trying to offset it against commercial costs!

    What I want to know is the general approach adopted to sample testing/ inpection, so I can basically implement this myself. Its very difficult trying to fight a corner when you are not 100% confident in what you are saying. For info, my stance on this so far is that all products (regardless of order quantity) be inspected by an external body prior to shipping.

    If someone with experience could advise if this is a) overkill, b) not the right approach or c) correct then I would be eternally grateful!
    Posted: Jul 12, 2010 By: Teemsta Member since: Jul 12, 2010
  4. Mister B

    Mister B UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Well, FWIW, I import a fair amount from Asia and if I were to be importing electrical goods, I would most certainly get them tested by an independent European/British based testing house. And when I say tested, I would mean tested for everything.

    For sure it will cost but if you amortise the cost of getting this one batch tested across all future shipments, (as in factor it into the purchase price,) it should more than pay for itself.

    To not do so would be playing russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver.

    As an aside, why is the supplier grumpy about the suggestion, surely he should have nothing to fear?

    Mister B
    Posted: Jul 12, 2010 By: Mister B Member since: Aug 31, 2007
  5. Teemsta

    Teemsta UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Mister B - Thanks for that reply it is refreshing to hear that I am not making unrealistic requests!

    For info the products are being tested against EC directives, for example to obtain a CE mark, so they are actually being looked at by an external body (mainly TUV or Intertek). What is not being considered is whether they are actually any good!

    For example, we sell a petrol strimmer ( [FONT=&quot]unbelievably[/FONT] when you read the thread!) that often gets returned due to breakdowns and general operational problems. It is fully CE marked but basically a poor product when you actually try and use it for the intended purpose.

    My aim to is to make sure that in addition to regulatory compliance, they actually perform as the consumer would expect so I am speaking with testing houses to see what they offer.

    The supplier is being grumpy as previously the purchasing process has been as follows: 1) buyer sees product at fair 2) bulk order placed, 3) container arrives! They claim that we are being unfair by asking for testing on low value orders, that may ultimately be non-runners if they are not a success in the marketplace.
    Posted: Jul 12, 2010 By: Teemsta Member since: Jul 12, 2010
  6. JoeHe

    JoeHe UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I do agree on Mister that you need a independent test housing do nessary test for you.

    I live in China, and worked in a facotry which OEM branded products before, there're different standards in different country for the same object. For exaple, in China the policy is xx should be less than 100ppm,while UK is 95ppm,far east is 110ppm, so people have different ideas about which quality is OK. In which situation if you don't ask for test, they'll take normal action which is OK from their point, but reject by you.

    While after independent test housing is used, they'll take action according to your standards, but not theirs. Just a suggestion that you can ask the supplier do test for main object, and other objects open a grantee letter to you.
    Posted: Jul 30, 2010 By: JoeHe Member since: Jul 24, 2010
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