Knowledge
11
December 2018

Which Bodies Manage Chinese Lab Accreditation?

Chinese lab accreditation is managed by different accreditation bodies depending on whether the laboratory is located in Mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

When you are importing products from China, requesting test reports to demonstrate that the product meets necessary standards can often be critical, and it is important for compliance purposes that these test reports are issued by accredited labs.

In this article we introduce the different bodies responsible for managing Chinese lab accreditation and show you where you can search for a Chinese lab. 

Why is Chinese Lab Accreditation Important?

Although many Chinese factories have their own laboratory, it isn't usually a good idea to depend on their results for demonstrating compliance of your products.

From my own experiences I know there are often issues with these labs, such as uncalibrated equipment, dubious test methods or negative results being fudged or overlooked due to production demands.

Unless a Chinese factory's lab has accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 you should always consider the need for independent testing. This is especially important when you are dealing with potentially dangerous products and essential when you are considering product certification.

This independent testing should be done by laboratories that are accredited by bodies that arsignatories to ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation); which is the international organisation for accreditation bodies.

Each signatory to ILAC agrees to their Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) which means, at least in theory, that Chinese lab reports should be accepted worldwide.

How to Find an Accredited Chinese Lab?

It is surprisingly straight forward to find accredited Chinese labs. As part of the ILAC MRA program, accreditation bodies each publish a list of their accredited organizations on their website.

We have included a link to the applicable page on each bodies' website in our summary below.

Once you have found a Chinese lab that can test to the standard you require, the more difficult part can actually be getting in touch with them and making arrangements for testing.

In many cases it is much easier if you can get assistance from a local partner who can help manage the testing and communication processes. 

Chinese Lab Accreditation Bodies

There are 3 accreditation bodies from "Greater China" that are ILAC MRA signatories.

These bodies manage Chinese lab accreditation in the jurisdictions of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively. 

Here is an introduction to each:

Mainland China: CNAS

Amongst the plethora of Chinese certification marks, the CNAS logo is one to look out for on Chinese test reports as it indicates that the report is from an accredited laboratory.

  • Body Name: China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (中国合格评定国家认可委员会)
  • Website: cnas.org.cn
  • Email: info@cnas.org.cn
  • Address: No.8 Nanhuashi Dajie Chongwen District, Beijing, 100062, China
  • Number of Accredited Labs: >7,000 (in 2017)
  • Lab Search Page: Click Here

CNAS accredited labs are each issued with a Laboratory Accreditation Certificate which comes in both Chinese and English versions and specifies the lab's address and registration number.

It is always a good idea to request and verify these certificates if you are in any doubt.

Hong Kong: HKAS

Managed by the Hong Kong government's Innovation and Technology Commission, HKAS provides accreditation for all of Hong Kong's labs.

  • Body Name: Hong Kong Accreditation Service (香港認可處)
  • Laboratory Accreditation Scheme: HOKLAS (Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme)
  • Website: itc.gov.hk/en/quality/hkas/about
  • Email: hkas@itc.gov.hk
  • Address: Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS), Quality Services Division, Innovation and Technology Commission, 36/F Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
  • Number of Accredited Labs: 228 (in 2018)
  • Lab Search Page: Click Here

Another avenue for finding information on Hong Kong labs is to contact the Hong Kong Association for Testing, Inspection and Certification Limited who are ILAC stakeholders.

The association's website includes a list of members

Taiwan: TAF

For a relatively small island, Taiwan has a lot of factories and a lot of laboratories. Accreditation of these labs is managed by the not-for-profit and self-funded organisation, TAF.

  • Full Name: Taiwan Accreditation Foundation (財團法人全國認證基金會)
  • Website: taftw.org.tw
  • Email: taf@taftw.org.tw
  • Address: 23F, No.27, Section 2, Zhongzheng East Road, Tamsui District, New Taipei City, 25170, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
  • Number of Accredited Labs: 2,032 (in 2018)
  • Lab Search Page: Click Here

Note: If you are searching for Taiwan on the ILAC website you will find them listed under "Chinese Taipei" - the same name as used for Taiwan's Olympic team.

How About Labs in Macau?

In Macau there is no specific body responsible for lab accreditation and this Special Administrative Region of China has relatively few laboratories. Some of the laboratories in Macau seem to be accredited by HKAS or CNAS.

The Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Center assists companies in Macau to do product testing, by arranging for samples to be sent to Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Further reading