Since 2008, Germany and China are cooperating intensively to improve the safety and conformity of products which are traded between both nations. In 2011, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi – since 2013: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ) established the Sino-German Working Group on Product Safety as a permanent platform for the political dialogue about issues in quality infrastructure.
Responsible for conformity assessment and accreditation in China, the Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) was integrated as partner to the Working Group. Next to subordinate authorities, testing institutes and certification bodies, industrial associations and companies are important partners to the Working Group (WG).
This diverse set-up allows for coherent dialogue about the harmonisation of legal frameworks, exchange mechanisms and certification systems as well as the practical implementation of bilateral cooperation measures. Immediate solutions for specific problems within bilateral trade can be addressed and technical barriers to trade can be sustainably reduced. A strong focus lies on economically significant product groups such as machinery and equipment, electrical appliances, toys, and pressurised plant equipment. To also deepen the bilateral exchange about the safety of automobile products, BMWi and AQSIQ founded a Sub-Working Group on Product Safety in the Automotive Industry in 2014.
The support of the WG through the Sino-German Quality Infrastructure Project is two-fold. Organisationally, the Project facilitates the efficient flow of information between all partners to the WG. Technically, the Project arranges the conceptual alignment of the Working Group and develops as well as implements measures targeting current problems in quality infrastructure. Both aspects are closely interlinked, for close coordination of all parties is a necessary precursor for the effective and in-depth cooperation between both countries.
The Project’s support to the Working Group on Product Safety ensures the continuous technical cooperation in between the annual Working Group meetings. Scientific studies, expert workshops, study tours and trainings underpin the consultation during the annual meetings.