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What is CoC and How Important is it in International Trade?

vijay

Vijay Kumar

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

January 25, 2024

6 min read

CoC, short for Certificate of Conformance, proves that a product has passed all the necessary tests and conforms to international regulatory standards. The manufacturers provide this certificate to the consumers along with their product as an assurance of the product’s quality. When trading internationally, it is necessary to provide this document, as businesses must show that their products comply with international regulatory norms. 

What is CoC

In this article, you will learn what is CoC, its objective, and how important it is in international trade. 

CoC: A Detailed Explanation

CoC (Certificate of Conformance) is a document confirming the quality of a product, which is presented by the manufacturer to the buyer. It is an essential document required during international trade. 

Those involved in cross-border trade must understand and obey their destination country’s national and international regulatory norms. Each country has its own set of laws on imported items. The production, technical, and safety standards also differ based on the product. Different industries impose different standards for their products. So, it is important for businesses to learn about the quality parameters set for their marketing products and abide by them to ensure a smooth trade overseas.

CoC is often confused with CoA, which is short for Certificate of Analysis. It is to be noted that the two are very different from each other. A CoC does not usually mention the specifications of the tests conducted. CoA, on the other hand, includes the test measurement based on the manufacturing specifications of the products. A CoA is mostly issued by quality assurance personnel authorized by the manufacturer.

Who Issues CoC?

An authorized party or personnel issues CoC. The licensed party may be the manufacturer or an independent laboratory that runs tests and assesses the product quality. The quality assurance personnel conduct tests to see if the product matches the set standards. The certificate is issued if the product complies with the particular regulatory norms. The issuance of this certificate indicates that your product meets international standards and specifications. 

What Details Does a CoC Contain?

You won’t understand what is CoC until you learn what is included in this document. Here is a look at the information included in it:

  1. Product Identification – Product identification is this certificate’s first and most important part. This includes the product description, which is necessary for informing the buyer what they are buying. 
  2. Manufacturer or Importer Identification includes the name of the business or company manufacturing the product. In addition to this, it also includes the address of the firm and its other contact information.
  3. Date of Manufacture – The date, month, and year of manufacture is mentioned on the certificate.
  4. Place of Manufacture – The place of manufacturing of the good is also written on the certificate. It includes the city, state, and country of origin.
  5. Regulations – It includes a list of all the regulations that the product must pass.
  6. Certificates– This includes the list of certificates that are awarded to manufacturers to state that the product has undergone essential tests and is compliant with the standards. Testing Information includes the date and place where the product’s testing was performed.
  7. Details about the Issuer – The name, address, and contact number of the person/ entity issuing the Certificate of Conformity is essentially stated in the document.

What is the main purpose of a CoC?

The main objectives of a CoC are:

  1. To launch a product in the overseas market, you must meet international regulatory requirements. When you have a Certificate of Conformity in place, it is easier to enter the market. This document also helps market the product and build a strong customer base. This is because it instills customer confidence in your product, which facilitates better trade.
  2. It is a must for trading in certain countries. Many countries demand this certificate based on the category of the products you are dealing with. It is needed for regulatory or customs purposes.
  3. This certificate helps in completing your inspection process swiftly as it establishes standards to improve the efficiency of the process.
  4. The issuance of a Certificate of Conformity is directly proportional to your ability to enter the market on time. A delay in obtaining the certificate can slow up the launch of your product, and non-issuance can prevent it from entering the market. This can lead to financial loss.

Why do International Suppliers Need a CoC?

International suppliers require a Certificate of Conformance to trade in different markets across the globe. Here is a look at the various reasons why this certificate is required to operate in the global market:

  • Quality Assurance – This certificate acts as an assurance about the quality of the product a buyer is purchasing. It affirms that the goods meet the highest standards set by the regulatory authorities.
  • Market Value – This certificate increases the market value of an item. It helps your items enter the global market speedily and make their place among other products in the league. Lack of this document can shun your chances of expansion in the overseas market. It can even impact sales in the domestic market and lead to financial loss.
  • Conflict Resolution – It reduces the chances of conflicts between manufacturers and suppliers by mentioning the regulations a product is required to meet to enter the international market. By referring to the standard compliance mentioned in the certificate, a buyer can also take legal action if the product fails to meet them.
  • Speedy Inspection Process – When you already have CoC in place, the inspection process tends to speed up as your product conforms to the set standards. 

Conclusion

CoC is a document provided to the consumers at the time of purchase of a product. It states that the item has undergone necessary testing and complies with the regulatory standards. The certificate is mostly issued by the manufacturers or authorized personnel who test the products at various levels to check their conformity with international standards

The Certificate of Conformance is a pre-requisite for trading in the international market. International suppliers need this certificate for several reasons, including accelerating the inspection process, ensuring conflict resolution, assuring product quality, and increasing the product’s market value. It also enables producers and dealers to communicate in a similar language by defining widely accepted manufacturing standards. 

Is there any difference between CoCs issued by the manufacturer and those issued by a third party?

CoCs issued by the manufacturer may be influenced by the reputation of the company. On the other hand, CoCs issued by third parties are more objective.

Do Certificates of Conformance include information related to the testing methods?

Most Certificates of Conformance do not include information related to the testing methods, but some may have it. If required, buyers can ask about this information separately from the manufacturer.

Does CoCs facilitate standardized communication within industries?

CoCs clearly define the set production objectives and regulatory norms. Thus, they facilitate standardized communication within industries. They instill confidence in your product and boost trade.

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