Certain fire safety products require CCC Certification in order to be legally exported to China, and used within business activities there. The China Certification Center for Fire Products (Chinese: 公安部消防产品合格评定中心), or CCCF, is responsible for the certification and subject to the Ministry of Public Security. The CCCF headquarters are located in the Chinese capital of Beijing, and the authority employs around 200 workers. The CCCF exclusively handles the approval of fire protection products, in contrast to the China Certification Centre for Automotive Products (CCAP), which implements the Certification of Automobile Components, and the China Quality Certification Centre (CQC), which is responsible for virtually all CCC obligatory certification products.
On August 1, 2019, major changes regarding the product categories that require mandatory certification have been implemented.
Currently, some of the products that have to be certified under mandatory certification are:
- Fire extinguishers
- Fire detectors (e.g. smoke detectors and flame detectors)
- Fire alarm devices
- Emergency lighting products
- Fire safety signs
- Fire escape products (e.g. escape ladders or chutes)
- Respiratory protective devices for self-rescue
The CCCF is organized into several departments and employs external auditors alongside its own internal auditing team to implement factory inspections. Independent CNAS accredited test laboratories are consulted for product tests. The CCCF will authorize a test laboratory for product testing after all application documents are accepted.
The product tests run strictly in accordance to national standards, namely the Chinese
GB Standards. There are around 300 of these standards in existence for fire protection products, however new regulations are published regularly.
The legislative basis for the publication of new Implementing Rules and GB standards generally forms part of the Fire Control Law of the People’s Republic of China (Chinese: 中华人民共和国消防法), otherwise the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation (Chinese: 中华人民共和国认证认可条例).
Initial contact with authorities and the implementation of the certification process often presents a major challenge for companies. No information in English is provided on the CCCF website, and the application documents are only available in Chinese. It requires an increased amount of effort and communication skills to establish an information and discussion base with the authorities.
The certification process is similar to the CCC certification with the CCAP or CQC. The authorities will request samples once the application has been accepted, which will then be tested to GB Standards in a Chinese test laboratory. The CCCF will issue the CCC Certificate upon successful completion of the tests and audit. The marking should be prepared according to the requirements of the certification authority before the receipt of the CCC certificate in order to save time. The marking itself shall only be applied after the CCC certificate is issued.
CCCF certification process
Specific requirements (diameter, height etc.) must be strictly adhered to. There is a risk that incorrectly labelled components will be detained by customs. Since there is no more marking application, there is no last control step of the authority. Therefore, it is even more important to prepare the CCC marking of the products properly.
Regular follow-up inspections must take place in order to ensure the validity of the CCC Certificate, and will always be implemented by Chinese CCCF auditors. Inspections by other institutions are not permitted.
Otherwise, fire safety products that require a CCC may not be legally imported to, or sold within, China, and may be detained by Chinese customs.