According to statistics from Cixi Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, 283 shipments of the city's exports were refused in 2017, with a total value of US $ 11.8298 million, down 4.71% and 10.64% respectively from the previous year. Over the same period, 6 notifications on substandard Cixi exports were issued by foreign countries and regions, down 50% from the previous year. The “double decline” in refused exports and notified substandard exports shows the steady improvement in the quality of the city’s exported goods.
In terms of the refused exports, small home appliances (like heaters and electric grill pans), auto parts and LED lights constituted the majority as before. Exports to the EU and America, in particular, occupied a predominant 45% percent of the total, due to the large volume traded as well as the high market threshold and high quality requirement of the clients. More specifically, 66 shipments of Cixi goods were refused by the EU and 62 the US, falling by 31.18% and 7.46% respectively over the same period of last year. Notably, although shipments refused by the European and American markets both showed an year-on-year decrease, those refused by South Korea and Australia increased by 44% and 183% respectively from the same period of previous year.
Take South Korea. Boosted by the free trade agreement between China and South Korea, the export of small household electrical appliances such as electric fans and heaters to South Korea has been growing rapidly. But at the same time, the technical barriers to trade in South Korea have been escalating in recent years, for example, the KC certification for electrical products. In December 2017, a Cixi shipment of heaters to South Korea were forced to be returned due to inconsistency between the type of power cord used and the information showed on the KC certificate. According to statistics, in 2017, export firms in Cixi have seen in total 24 shipments of small household appliances refused by South Korea for various quality reasons.
In terms of the exports notified as substandard, electric appliances (like lamps) and children's products (like children's bicycles and fidget spinners) constituted the majority. More specifically, notifications by the EU concerning exports like toasters were mainly because the products were found not meeting the local mandatory standards and susceptible of potential safety hazards such as electric shock; notifications concerning children's products were mainly due to high content of harmful substances or design flaws that may lead to child injury.
Despite the double decline, the inspection and quarantine department reminds export enterprises in Cixi to strengthen precautions against trade risks and make a point of checking with foreign customers the product quality standards and certification requirements; do not blindly nod to the unreasonable requirements of customers which can lead to unnecessary trade disputes and legal liabilities. At the same time, enterprises must implement strict quality control. In addition to strengthening the control of raw materials and production processes, export enterprises should also dutifully gain certifications issued by professional organizations according to the mandatory standards of importing countries and regions so as to ensure conformity before shipment.