Importing from China: How to Do Quality Control

ISO quality control

Table of Contents

In general, all international traders want to receive products of decent quality from their Chinese suppliers. Now I am going to show you how to control the quality of products when dealing with companies from China.


Pro tip #1: Before doing business with a Chinese company, you need to check the supplier’s qualifications to make sure that they can meet your company’s requirements.

Main aspects:

1. Check the production capacity of suppliers.

2. Check the supplier’s quality management system (ISO).

3. Check product samples.

4. Compare the test results of similar products.


After confirming that the samples meet the requirements, you can try to use them in small batches first. The small-batch trial can not only verify the consistency between the supplier’s products and samples but also could test whether the supplier’s products meet the requirements of your enterprise.

Pro tip #2: If possible, you can visit the factories of this Chinese company to make sure that the equipment and environment meet the requirements of your company.

Pro tip #3: Sign a strict contract with the Chinese company with clear quality control clauses.

What you need in a contract

1. Final passed yield: The ratio of the number of good products that eventually pass the test to the theoretical output.

2. AQL: AQL stands for ‘acceptable quality limit’, the maximum allowed the number of defects per batch based on ISO 2859 statistical standard.

3. Safety regulations: The EU uses REACH or RoHS Directives, while the US uses standards issued by ASTM, CPSC, FDA, etc.

business contract

The responsibilities of both companies should be clearly defined in the contract, and punitive measures should be formulated, such as the treatment of unqualified products. Finally, make sure that the contents of the contract are valid.

During the process of producing

1. If possible, representatives can be arranged to inspect Chinese factories on a regular or irregular basis. When the product does not meet the requirements, they could instruct the suppliers to improve the quality level and meet your company’s requirements.

2. If it is not convenient for you to come to China, you can strengthen the communication through the Internet and ask the suppliers to report the production situation regularly. In case of production problems, you can solve them together by means of a video conference.

After producing

1. Send representatives or use video to inspect products after the production is completed.

2. Make the last check before packing to ensure that the quality, quantity, label, and packaging of the products all meet your requirements.

3. Don’t finish the payment in advance. If you do, it’s hard to ask the suppliers to rework when the product doesn’t meet the requirements.



During all stages of trading, you need to pay attention to control the quality, especially during the period of preparation since a suitable supplier can help you to save a lot of time. However, saying is easier than doing. When you do decide to import from China, you may find the real situation much more complicated. To better help our readers, we will try our best to write more detailed articles on this topic. If you have any questions about the quality control of importing from China, feel free to leave a comment.

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