It seems easy to search suppliers all over the world via mouseclic at the present times of growing transparence at the markets. But experience shows: All that glitters is not gold!
The basic requirements to carry out an import order successfully are sticking to the guidelines for product safety, the different customs rates, the import guidelines and the knowledge of production and supplier.
The keyword used by everyone for this is quality assurance. But how difficult can it be to meet the high European demands, and how labour intensive are the certificates and the data demanded by the government for importing firms nowadays? The numerous guidelines and regulations must be adhered to and documented. How much of which substnace can be found in which component element? Ten years ago, no end-user would have asked those questions. This changed radically, research and development have played a large part in ensuring consumer safety. And that is good, because we are all responsible for our fellow citizens and for the environment with what we do.
At this point, know-how and extensive quality control are also necessary to warrant the highest possible degree of safety. Quality assurance already starts with requesting information about the article at the supplier or manufacturer. Does he have the required certificates and approvals? Is he technically able to fulfill the required demands? Is he keeping to social standards and does he honour his responsibility towards fellow citizens and the environment?
Factory audits (evaluation of a manufacturer regarding his technical and social standard and his quality assurance) http://sicherheitswiki.org/wiki/Auditierung - which we carry out in person at the manufacturers premisis - are necessities for production controlling. A further standard is the assurance of social standards and inspections according to AQL, through good checks of representative sample amounts.
We warrant technical tests and checks of the ingredients by working together with officially recognised test institutes.
Depending on the article, there are numerous specifications that must be adhered and considered. Here is a short overview of the most important and best known:
Patent law / licenses and product safety:
- Trademark law, patent law, design patent, utility model, copyright
- Equipment and Product Safety Act
- Toy Safety Directive
- Foodstuff and Consumer Products Act (German LFGB)
- Cosmetics Directive
- Prohibited Chemicals Ordinance
- CE Guidelines (i.e. EMC Directive, LVD, etc.)
- if applicable further certification (GS Mark, TÜV Toxproof, Ökotex 100)
- Regulation for Textile Labelling and Marketing
- GEMA/ MP3 licenses
Waste and disposal:
- Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, RoHS)
- Packaging Ordinance (DSD, Der Grüne Punkt etc.)
- Battery Directive
Area of customs and transport law
- Customs code, tariff legislation, tax legislation (EUST)
- Transport law, insurance law
Area product liability and contract law:
- Code of Commerce
- Product Liability Act
To offer a high level of security at this point as well, our Know How and extensive quality control are essential.Markus Bothner, CEO