PCAs and Your Exported Products

From PSI to PCA; The changing face of compliance in goods’ inspection and certification.

What you need to know for starters.

With the need for compliance in international trade growing rapidly many changes have been implemented in the way the compliance of exported goods is verified.

If you’re planning to export to the EU or beyond you must comply with these changes. This will entail using a company experienced and accredited in these matters.

The most significant change has been the shift from the traditional Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) programmes to the more comprehensive Product Conformity Assessment (PCA).

Product Conformity Assessment services enable exporters to gain Certificates of Conformity (CoC) for export into those countries where a PCA programme is present. Exporting to many countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Saudi Arabia may require a CoC. PCA is an accepted part of trade with Middle Eastern and African countries and most exporters have adapted their internal processes to ensure they can provide the necessary information.

The need has arisen from a growing concern many countries have about imported products and the impact of substandard/counterfeit items on the local environment, economy and citizens. This has fuelled the introduction of product conformity assessment (PCA). The overriding purpose is to ensure that only genuine, high quality goods enter their markets.

Third party inspection companies must evaluate the products being shipped in order to verify their compliance prior to being shipped.

To do this a comprehensive documentary review of all the available quality, test or technical information relating to the products has to be undertaken by the appointed inspection company. Once the compliance of goods has been verified, an inspection of the goods takes place before a COC is issued. With the PCA, exporters are responsible for compliance. They have to apply for a certificate of conformity (COC), as part of the application process. They also need to provide a wealth of information relating to the goods they are exporting.

So, an exporter has to provide test reports, technical documentation and quality information relating to the goods before any inspection can take place. This does necessitate using an inspection, verification, testing and certification company with services that cover a wide range of industries and types of goods. For example, SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. They have a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world. The services they offer include component failure testing and analysis in the aviation industry, inspection and pressure testing for industrial goods, ISO:9001 and FSC Certification, laboratory testing of toys and clothing and a wide range of consumer goods.
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Undoubtedly this is a subject that cannot be covered in detail on a few web pages. So please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and to be sign posted in the right direction so that you can export with confidence knowing all documentation and testing conforms to international and local standards and legal requirements.

You can email us at helpme@theexporthub.com or call us on +44 (0)1279 437 662 or fill out the contact form.

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