The Study on Draft of Philippines Technical Regulations Concerning the Mandatory Product Certification of Ceramic Plumbing Fixtures
LIU Yamin, YUAN Fangli, ZHAO Jiangwei, XIAO Jinghong, LIANG Yuping, LUO MiaochunComprehensive Technology Center of Foshan Customs, Foshan, 528000
Abstract: The author studies the draft “the new technical regulations concerning the mandatory product certification of ceramic plumbing fixtures” issued by the Department of Trade and Industry Philippines, Focusing on the analysis of the purpose and scope of the draft technical regulations, PS license and ICC certificate application procedures, on-site inspection and sampling, sample testing, marking, product recall procedures and requirements, suspension, withdrawal and cancellation of PS licenses and market supervision, etc. Provisions; analyzed the reasons for the formulation of the draft technical regulation; proposed relevant measures to follow up and study the draft technical regulation.
Keywords: Philippines； Product Certification； Ceramic Plumbing Fixtures； Technical Regulations
The Bureau of Philippine Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (hereinafter: DTI-BPS) is mandated by the Philippine Consumer Act to develop, promulgate and enforce standards for all products in the Philippines, to promote standardization activities in the Philippines and to ensure the manufacture, production and marketing of quality products for the protection of consumers. To fulfill this responsibility, the DTI-BPS provides for the standardization and certification of locally manufactured and imported products so that consumers can obtain quality and safe products that comply with the Philippine National Standards (PNS). A total of 85 products in three major categories are included in the mandatory product certification list.
On 16 October 2020, DTI-BPS issued a circular on G/TBT/N/PHL/245 “Draft Technical Regulation on Mandatory Certification of Sanitary Ceramics and Sanitary Ware”, which aims to prevent fraud, protect consumers’ rights and interests, and protect human health and safety. 2020 China’s exports of sanitary ceramics to the Philippines (HS Code: 6910) amounted to US$334 million, an increase of 44.17%. The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry is also reviewing bilateral and regional trade agreements with key trading partners starting in the first quarter of 2021. According to Business World Philippines, 21 January 2021, total Philippine foreign trade is expected to reach US$91.7 billion in 2021, an increase of 12.5% year-on-year, and 14.8% in 2022. Therefore, studying the requirements of the Philippines’ Draft Technical Regulations for Compulsory Certification of Sanitary Ceramics and Sanitary Ware will be of great importance to the facilitation of trade in sanitary ceramics in China.
1 The Scope Of The Technical Regulations
The “Draft Technical Regulations for Compulsory Certification of Sanitary Ceramics and Sanitary Ware” covers mandatory certification of sanitary ceramics and sanitary ware including gynecological washers, shower bases, sinks (laboratory sinks, laundry sinks, service sinks, utility sinks), urinals, toilets and other products, whether locally manufactured or imported sanitary ceramics and sanitary ware in the Philippines, are to comply with this technical regulation.
The Bill provides that for consumer safety, market surveillance and traceability, only sanitary ceramic sanitary ware procured from manufacturers holding the PS (PHILIPPINE STANDARD) quality certification and importers holding the ICC (IMPORT COMMODITY CLEARANCE) certificate are allowed to be distributed, sold and used in the Philippines. The seller or distributor in the Philippine market shall provide the relevant certificates for regular monitoring and inspection by the DTI-BPS.
2 Requirements of Technical Regulations
2.1 PS Quality Certification Licensing Scheme
The PS Quality Certification Mark is applicable to local and foreign manufacturers who sell or distribute sanitary ceramic sanitary ware in the Philippine market. permission to use the PS Certification Mark shall be granted to companies that meet the requirements.
To ensure compliance with the requirements for certified products, regular monitoring activities shall be conducted in accordance with the following current DTI rules.
Local companies in the Philippines with a valid PS license: annual audits of factories, random inspections/verifications at factories/warehouses/markets and product testing.
Companies outside the Philippines with a valid PS permit: annual audit of the plant; periodic inspection/verification of each shipment and product testing.
2.1.1 PS Permit Application
For manufacturers of sanitary ceramic sanitary ware outside the Philippines, only one local importer is allowed per permit. However, a manufacturer may apply for more than one permit. Therefore each importer should submit a separate application for a PS permit. Application form to be signed by the applicant or his duly authorized administrator, including at least the following documents:
- Company business license, quality management system (PNS ISO 9001) certificate, etc.
- Description of the product production/manufacturing process;
- Traceability procedures for product identification, including material and process controls and drawings, etc.;
- Testing capability at each critical control point and factory inspection and relevant testing equipment, inspection reports, etc.;
- Equipment maintenance records and calibration certificates for all testing and measuring instruments;
- Labeling, marking, etc. as required by the sanitary ceramics standard;
- Relevant statements of compliance with the provisions of the draft regulations.
2.1.2 PS Licence Audit
After submission and confirmation of completeness and compliance with the documentary requirements, the manufacturer’s plant is audited and assessed in accordance with the requirements of the quality management system (PNS ISO 9001).
The audit shall be carried out by a BPS-DTI accredited auditor in accordance with the prescribed audit procedures; during the audit, samples are taken of each model of each brand of the product for which certification is sought. Testing is carried out by a BPS test laboratory or a BPS-accredited test laboratory.
If non-conformities are identified during the audit, the auditor shall notify the factory and request them to take corrective action. The auditor’s report of non-conformity shall be confirmed by the factory’s authorized representative. The factory shall carry out the initial audit within 3 months and take corrective action within 1 month. If the factory fails to take corrective action within the specified period, the PS permit application will be suspended. A PS permit shall be issued only upon satisfactory evaluation of the factory audit and determination that the product meets the requirements of the Philippine standards based on the relevant test reports; no PS permit shall be issued if the factory audit results do not meet the requirements. the PS permit shall be effective from the date of issuance and shall be in full force and effect for a period of 3 years, subject to the supervisory audits prescribed by the BPS-DTI.
For the initial audit, all makes, types and models of sanitary ceramic sanitary ware covered by the permit shall be sampled. For surveillance audits, a minimum of 1/3 of the brands, types and models covered by the current scope of the license shall be sampled for each surveillance audit. any brands, types and models not sampled and tested during the validity of the license shall be removed from the scope upon re-certification.
2.1.3 Application for Statement of Confirmation (SOC)
All importers covered by a valid PS permit issued to a manufacturer of sanitary ceramics and sanitary ware outside the Philippines shall apply for a Statement of Confirmation (SOC) for each shipment on a B/L/AWB basis to ensure that the imported product is from a valid PS permit holder company. The following documents should be submitted with the SOC Confirmation Statement application:
- Packing List;
- Commercial Invoice;
- Bill Of Lading;
- Production Batch/Lot Number;
- List Of Distributors/Retailers With Their Full Address And Contact Details;
- Proof Of Ownership Or Lease Of The Warehouse;
- Security Deposit;
- Copy Of The Ps License For Soc Application, Etc.
2.2 Application for and the issue of ICC certificate
The importer shall apply for an ICC certificate at the time of each import if he has not applied for a PS certificate. Provide packing list, commercial invoice, bill of lading, production lot/batch number, certificate of registration of the enterprise and its articles of association, list of distributors/retailers with their full addresses and contact details, proof of ownership or lease contract of the warehouse, security deposit, etc.
The importer submits the official application documents to the BPS or the nearest DTI office. Inspection and sampling will be carried out by a BPS-approved inspection body at the warehouse declared by the importer. Samples taken for testing should be packed/sealed and signed in the presence of an authorized representative of BPS, DTI office or BPS approved inspection body. The inspection agency shall send the inspection report directly to BPS within 2 working days from the date of inspection.
The applicant shall submit the samples taken to the BPS testing laboratory or a BPS-accredited testing laboratory within 3 working days from the date of inspection and sampling. If the test results show compliance with the requirements of the relevant Philippine standards, the ICC certificate shall be issued by an authorized signatory of the BPS.
2.3 Sample Testing
The draft states that samples of sanitary ceramic sanitary ware shall be tested by a DTI-BPS accredited laboratory in accordance with PNS 156:2010, PNS 2085:2011 or the latest version. The relevant requirements are tested for the items in Table 1.
Tab.1 Sample test item table
|Glaze crack resistance
|Structural integrity testing
|Wall-mounted sanitary ceramic sanitary ware load test
|Load test for shower bases and non-glass sinks
|Water seal depth
|Water seal return
|Particle and sphere flushing
|Mixed media testing
|Pipeline conveying characteristics
|Water volume used
|Water seal depth
|Surface cleaning test
|Contamination resistance test
For newly revised versions of the standard, the official entry into force is 1 year after its publication in order to provide sufficient time for all stakeholders to adjust and prepare.
The original test report shall be sent directly to the BPS by the BPS testing laboratory or a BPS accredited testing laboratory, including pictures of the samples, photographs of sample markings, etc.
2.4 Marking Requirements
In consideration of surveillance and traceability, the markings of imported or locally manufactured sanitary ceramic sanitary ware products in the Philippines shall always be legible for verification by authorized representatives of the BPS and DTI offices. The required markings shall be as follows.
2.4.1 Permanent Marking Information
- Permanent marking information shall be permanently marked by firing, etching, sandblasting, embossing with permanent ink, etc. The following permanent marking information:
- Correct and registered trademark name on the visible part, trademark or brand name (or if a private label is used, the name of the customer for whom the fixture was manufactured);
- Brand name and/or model number on the bottom or unglazed part;
- For flush toilets with gravity-flush tanks, the A water level mark should be added to the ceramic body of the tank, the tank liner or the flush valve overflow pipe;
- Water consumption label: for urinals and toilets, place the adhesive label in a visible position on the fixture.
2.4.2 Additional Marking Information
- Manufacturer’s name or registered trademark;
- Manufacturer’s address;
- Importer’s name and address;
- Country of origin;
- Batch number;
- PS mark with license number (for PS license holders)
- Non-porcelain products (for lavatories, bidets, sinks and toilet tanks only) shall be labeled with “Non-porcelain” or “NVC”. “or “NVC”.
2.5 Procedures And Requirements For Product Recall
- After the BPS has declared a product non-conforming, the BPS shall immediately notify the manufacturer and/or importer. The manufacturer and/or importer shall, within 15 days of receipt of the notification, recall the product in accordance with the following provisions:
- The recall order shall be published in a general newspaper for at least 2 consecutive Saturdays/Sundays;
- The format, content, typeface and size of the recall order shall be specified by the BPS;
- The recall period shall be at least 30 days from the date of the second publication; proof of publication of the recall order shall be submitted to the BPS or DTI office;
- The recalled The inventory of the recalled products shall be submitted to the BPS or DTI office;
- The recalled products shall be condemned, destroyed or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the applicable disposal rules issued by DTI, the Department of Budget and Management and the Board of Auditors.
- The manufacturer and/or importer shall use the recall order to compensate the parties.
2.6 SUSPENSION, WITHDRAWAL AND CANCELLATION OF ps LICENCES
- A duly issued PS license shall be suspended, recalled, withdrawn, canceled or revoked for any of the following reasons.
- The product bearing the PS mark does not comply with the requirements of the specific PNS as modified/updated.
- Failure of the licensee to comply with surveillance, monitoring or enforcement notices/directives/orders.
- failure of the licensee to comply with the terms and conditions of the license.
- the licensee has made false statements or changes to its application for a license or recertification
- A breach by the licensee of any provision of the technical regulations.
- An enforcement order on a judgment finding the licensee in breach of commercial and industrial law or directing the BPS to suspend/revoke or revoke rules and regulations in favor of the licensee’s PS license;
If it is ultimately found that a product does not comply with the prescribed technical requirements, the license shall be immediately suspended, withdrawn, recalled, canceled or revoked on notice only.
If a PS license is suspended, withdrawn or canceled, the manufacturer shall not be permitted to manufacture or produce in any way the products covered by the particular PS license. The suspension, withdrawal or cancellation shall take effect immediately upon receipt of notice and shall remain in force until the suspension is lifted or the withdrawn/canceled PS permit is reinstated.
2.7 Market Surveillance
The relevant office of the BPS or DTI shall monitor and inspect the products on the market at all times to ensure that they comply with the requirements of the standards specified in this Technical Code. If products are found to be non-compliant, the relevant office of the BPS or DTI shall take appropriate legal action or impose the necessary sanctions in accordance with the relevant laws, rules and regulations.
The BPS may coordinate with the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP) to The BPS may, in coordination with the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP), carry out verification and inspection at the construction project site to ensure that the sanitary ceramic sanitary ware used complies with the requirements of this Technical Regulation.
The official document will take effect 15 days after the end of the comment period of the Technical Regulation on 11 December 2020, when it will be published in the local newspapers in the Philippines. The latest draft of the Technical Regulation on Mandatory Certification of Sanitary Ceramics and Sanitary Ware issued by the Bureau of Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines is in fact a technical trade measure (TTM) developed by the Philippines to protect its sanitary ceramics and sanitary ware industry (TTM is the enactment of laws, decrees, regulations, rules, and provisions to establish technical standards, certification systems, inspection systems, etc. in the implementation of trade import controls by countries importing and exporting goods in international trade). The purpose of these measures is to raise the technical requirements for imported products, make it more difficult to import, and eventually achieve a non-tariff barrier measure to restrict imports. China WTO/TBT-SPS National Notification Advisory Centre Ceramic Products Research and Evaluation Base, the General Administration of Customs Sanitary Ware and Plumbing Product Quality and Safety Risk Monitoring Point, the National Key Laboratory for Building and Sanitary Ceramics Testing and other relevant institutions will actively study and follow up the draft regulation, combining the actual situation of enterprises, so as to develop corresponding countermeasures. Help and guidance to domestic export enterprises, improve product quality, to protect and expand the export trade of sanitary ceramic sanitary ware. At the same time, it is recommended that relevant enterprises pay attention to the policy developments of DTI-BPS and understand the standards of PNS 156:2010 and PNS 2085:2011 as well as the content of the technical regulations on product packaging and labeling to ensure that the quality of export products meet the requirements of the regulations while paying close attention to the implementation date of the regulations, and apply for the relevant certificates as required to avoid being blocked in exports.