Main Bodies of the Chinese Standardization System

The standards system in China is administered at the top by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and headed primarily by the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China. Other governmental and private sector organizations provide a significant amount of additional input and participate in the standards process.

General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ)

AQSIQ is a ministerial level administration directly under the supervision of the State Council and in charge of national quality, metrology, entry-exit commodity inspection, entry-exit health quarantine, entry-exit animal and plant quarantine, import-export food safety, certification and accreditation, standardization, as well as administrative law-enforcement.

Among its primary responsibilities, AQSIQ administers both the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC). CNCA supervises all certification and accreditation activities throughout China, while SAC is the body in charge of National Standards.

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Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC)

SAC was established by the State Council and is administered by AQSIQ. It is the Chinese National Standards body and is in charge of managing and supervising all standardization in China. SAC checks the conformity of new or revised National Standards against Chinese legislation and international agreements. SAC also ensures that any new or revised Chinese National Standards are to the greatest extent possible harmonized with existing international standards. Chinese National Standards are owned by SAC, whilst all other standards are “supervised” and ideally also registered by SAC.

SAC is the main window between Chinese standardization organizations and the outside world; namely, SAC represents China in ISO and IEC. Any international cooperation on standardization needs the approval and the involvement of SAC. It is also the declared policy of SAC to increase its visibility and engagement with international standardization organizations.

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China Association for Standardization (CAS)

CAS is a nationwide public association of organizations and individuals engaged in voluntary standardization across China. It is approved by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and led by AQSIQ. Its main activities include:

  • Organizing academic seminars and exchanges for international and domestic experts;
  • Conducting research on policies, laws, and regulations related to standardization;
  • Providing certification services;
  • Disseminating knowledge on standardization, and conducting training for standardization officials;
  • Publishing notifications on National Standards and related standardization information.

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China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS)

CNIS is a non-profit national research body affiliated with AQSIQ and engaged in standardization research. The main responsibilities of CNIS are to conduct strategic and comprehensive research on standardization, to research and develop a range of fundamental standards, as well as to provide authoritative standards information services.

AQSIQ and SAC use CNIS as their think-tank for policy making on standardization and technical supervision of the market. CNIS has done extensive research for government agencies, such as drafting the first edition of the Standardization Law, conducting China’s standardization strategy project funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, and drafting the policy of IPR inclusion in Chinese National Standards.

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Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA)

CNCA is responsible for the general administration of the compulsory product certification system and its implementation. This involves updating the CCC Catalogue, drafting and promulgating the implementing rules for the compulsory certification of products listed in the CCC Catalogue, designing and promulgating certification marks, defining the requirements for CCC certificates, designating certification bodies, testing laboratories and inspection bodies carrying out conformity assessment activities for CCC certification, designating the organization that issues CCC certification marks, handling complaints and appeals related to compulsive product certification, and more. CNCA also authorizes local Quality and Technical Supervision Bureaus and Local Entry-exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureaus as local certification supervision authorities. Those bureaus are in turn responsible for surveillance on products listed in CCC Catalogue products in areas under their administration. They are also responsible for investigating and acting on breaches of compulsory certification rules by manufacturers, distributors or importers of products listed in the Catalogue.

The Standards Press of China (SPC)

SPC is the only publication centre in China for publishing National Standards, Professional Standards, standard compilation books, scientific and technical books, and other books concerned with standardization, quality control and quality supervision. The Qinhuangdao Printing House, owned by SPC, is in charge of printing standards and books. Most of the standards and books published by SPC are issued throughout the whole country by Xinhua Bookstore and 50 professional booksellers. The rest are sold by retail or mail through SPC’s Reader Service system.

China Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI)

CESI is a professional institute for standardization in the field of electronics and IT under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The core focus of CESI’s standardization work is in the field of electronics and information technology. By developing scientific research for standards, testing, measurement, certification and information services, CESI provides professional support for the government’s strategic thinking, industry management and decision-making, and provides the public with technical standardization services.

CESI has been active in disseminating standards, as well as promoting the development of the industry, international exchanges and cooperation by:

  • Establishing laboratories, certification bodies and work stations authorized by the government and accredited by the authorities;
  • Taking charge of the centralized management of 51 national technical mirrors to IEC TC/SCs and ISO/IEC JTC1/SCs;
  • Setting up 11 secretariats of national standardization technical committees;
  • Establishing cooperation agreements with international standardization organizations and well-known international bodies.

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China Communications Standards Association (CCSA)

CCSA is a non-profit legal entity established by enterprises and institutes in China in order to carry out standardization activities in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) across China. CCSA is organized with the approval of MIIT and registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The membership of CCSA is open to corporate bodies only, including R&D institutes, design institutes, manufacturers, operators, universities and other companies.
Its main scope of activities includes the following:

  • To promulgate the state laws, regulations and policies on standardization; to deliver opinions and requests of its members to the relevant authorities in order to facilitate communication between its members and the authorities;
  • To conduct studies and surveys on the standardization system, to propose R&D projects on communications standards; to organize its members in conducting standards drafting, solicitation of opinion, standards compliance testing, and interoperability testing;
  • To organize domestic and international exchange and cooperation in ICT and standardization; to collect and analyze information related to domestic and international communications standards to support R&D activities in communications standards.

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