Due Diligence
May 2015

Is There a China ISO Certificate Search Website?

The 2015 ISO Survey identified that there were 303,957 ISO 9001 and 117,267 ISO 14001 valid certificates in China.

Although it is the numbers that jump off the page, possibly the most important word to take note of in the above sentence is "valid". In China ISO certificates can take on many guises, and claims of certification simply must be verified. Fake certificates, adjusted certificates, non-accredited certification bodies and even fake certification bodies are widespread.

The huge number of ISO certificates issued means that if you are dealing with a Chinese company there is a high likelihood that you will be presented with a China ISO certificate.

However, taking any China ISO certificate on face value is a risky business. To ensure a Chinese company has the management systems in place to serve your business well, you need to:

Although the easiest way to verify a China ISO certificate is to use China Checkup’s Certificate Verification services, you may be able to verify it yourself online. Here we show you some of the ways to do so.

This article focuses primarily on resources for verifying ISO 9001 certificates, but much of the information is also relevant to ISO 14001 and other ISO standards.

China ISO Accreditation Bodies

China is a very bureaucratic country and there are many tiers of government departments whose work relates to ISO certification.

Overseeing the whole field of certification, and member body of ISO is the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC). Working alongside this body is the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA).

Both of these bodies fall under the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection & Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China. I could go on and describe the role of CNAS, CCAA and many more… but will save that for another post!

Database of Certificates

The closest thing currently available to a China ISO certificate search website is a database provided by CNCA. Although its interface is nominally in English, it is rather difficult to use and you really need to know what you are looking for. Here is the link:

Database of Accredited Bodies

There is an English language database of accredited Chinese certification bodies available on the CNAS website:

This is a very important resource, as you have to question the value of a certificate issued by a non-accredited certification body. Our view is that a certificate issued by a Chinese certification body not on this database is barely worth the paper it is written on.

International ISO Certification Bodies in China

Many of the world’s largest certification bodies have offices and issue certificates in China. If you need to verify that a China ISO certificate is really issued by one of these international bodies then you can often check directly on their website.

The below list identifies the main international certification bodies with offices in China and includes links to their homepages and certificate search pages (where available):

China ISO Certification Bodies

Although many Chinese companies choose an international certification body for their ISO certifications, the majority still prefer to use domestic bodies.

Here we present a list of some of China’s most reputable certification bodies, their homepages and certificate search pages (where available). Each of these bodies have been accredited by UKAS (UK accreditation), JASANZ (Australia/New Zealand) or ANAB (USA) in addition to CNAS (China).

If the China ISO certification body you are looking for does not appear above, remember to check whether or not it is on the CNAS database of accredited bodies. Not only might this help you find the company’s contact details, but also determine whether they are a reputable certification provider.

An Easier Way to Verify a China ISO Certificate

With the above resources, a little luck and a lot of spare time you may be able to verify whether or not the China ISO certificate you have been given is legitimate. On the other hand you may not!

Why not let the China verification experts help you? Get peace of mind and verify an ISO certificate using China Checkup’s Certificate Verification services.

What Have We Missed Out?

If you notice any broken links or would like to add a certification body to our lists please leave a comment below.

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