China and Germany maintain one of the strongest trading partnerships in the world today. For this partnership to grow even further, the compatibility and safety of those goods and components that are traded between both nations need to be guaranteed. Only the adherence to relevant standards, technical regulations and guidelines can ensure that industries as well as consumers are provided with products that fulfill high quality and safety standards. An efficient and bilaterally aligned system of market surveillance forms an essential requirement for smooth trade between Germany and China.
Exchange and cooperation between market surveillance authorities of both countries is essential for guaranteeing this seamless surveillance of products, components and raw materials across borders. Market surveillance authorities in both countries therefore put a strong focus on transparency and accountability throughout the whole production and value chain. The political dialogue between both nations is at the core of the Sino-German Working Group on Product Safety. The Working Group channels the exchange of information, offers a permanent platform for discussions about legal frameworks and agrees on concrete harmonisation measures between both countries.
On the German side, it is necessary to also include European perspectives, as the legal framework for market surveillance is defined in Brussels. Equally important is the inclusion of the German Länder, as the responsibility for implementing market surveillance regulations in Germany lies with the Länder authorities. The Working Group as well as the Sino-German Quality Infrastructure Project closely interlink with both levels in implementing bilateral measures.
On the Chinese side, nation-wide regulations are also implemented through provincial and local level authorities. Following a system of pre-market surveillance, these local authorities have a strong influence on the quality of Chinese products. It is therefore an important task of the Project to regularly involve local partners into its activities, in order to facilitate the strong implementation of new developments into their daily surveillance work.
To facilitate the communication and cooperation between German and Chinese market surveillance authorities, the Sino-German Quality Infrastructure Project supports the work of the Sino-German Working Group on Product Safety in facilitating the bilateral exchange through the EU’s rapid alert system for dangerous products RAPEX (Rapid Exchange of Information System), and through the implementation of the European Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance of technical products (ICSMS) in China.
Drawing on a vast network of stakeholders in Europe and China, the Project coordinates the political dialogue and implements cooperation measures such as research studies and expert seminars, trainings and high-level conferences. In doing so, a strong focus lies on the effect of market surveillance systems on the trade between both countries. Partners to the Project are therefore not only German and Chinese authorities but also industry associations and private companies of both countries.