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What is CCC Automotive Certification

What is CCC Automotive Certification?

CCC is short for China Compulsory Certification scheme which requires manufacturers of automotive components to obtain approval for their parts before incorporating them into vehicles being sold into China.  Similarly Vehicle manufactures must have entire vehicles CCC certified before sending them to China for sale.  CCC Automotive requirements were implemented on May 1, 2002 and became fully effective on August 1, 2003. CCC Auto certification programs focus mostly on safety aspects of components as well as the overall vehicle. For more information on the services we provide for this certification, please see CCC Automotive Certification Services.

The CCC mark is required for both Chinese manufactured and foreign imported automobiles. There are 13 automotive product categories currently requiring CCC, including:

  • Motor vehicle
  • Motorcycle
  • Engines for Motorcycle
  • Safety Belts of Motor vehicle
  • Horns
  • Brake Hose Assemblies
  • External Lighting and Light-Signaling Devices
  • Rear-view Mirrors
  • Interior Trim
  • Door Locks and Door hinges
  • Fuel Tanks
  • Seats and Head Restraints
  • Child Occupants

As of June 2018 there have been some significant changes to CCC rules that affect automotive component categories.  The implementation of a voluntary mark, and a self-declaration scheme have caused some confusion and are still being sorted out.  As part of reforming and adjusting the implementation rules of China’s CCC Scheme for automotive components, Chinese authorities published an announcement including two Annexes relating to changes in the certification scheme of automotive components.

Products under Annex 1 no longer fall under the CCC scheme requirements, but can be transitioned to CQC or CCAP voluntary certification scheme.  Products under Annex 2 will have a new route to conformity under the Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) scheme to comply with CCC certification.  Alternatively, manufacturers can still elect to keep their current CCC certification process for Annex 2 products.  The date of transition to the SDoC route was initially slated for October 1st 2018, but it seems that this tentative date will likely be pushed into the future.  Automotive components currently under the CCC certification scheme that are not listed in Annex 1 or 2 will not be affected by recent changes, and will continue with the established CCC certification process.

The following automotive components are affected under Annex 1 or 2:

  • Horn – Annex 1
  • Brake hoses – Annex 1
  • Fuel tanks – Annex 1
  • Interior trim – Annex 2
  • Door locks & retainers/hinges – Annex 2

Automotive components under Annex 1 now fall outside of CCC certification scheme and are no longer allowed to be marked CCC.  Although CCC certification is no longer possible, testing of these components will still be required either as part of the voluntary certification scheme, or as part of vehicle certification testing.  It is recommended that component manufacturers under Annex 1 transition to CQC or CCAP voluntary certification for the following reasons:

  • Voluntary marked components will not require additional testing during vehicle certification
  • Minimize potential supply chain issues due to China local market surveillance
  • It can provide a competitive market advantage for replacement parts in China

The switch from CCC to CQC or CCAP certification can be performed without any additional testing or agency cost. The transition is simply a documentation process.

As stated, automotive components under Annex 2 will still require mandatory CCC certification but will now have an option to choose the Supplier Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) scheme or keep the current CCC certification scheme.  The new scheme will limit the certification body’s role in the certification process, mainly by eliminating mandatory annual factory inspections.  The Supplier self-certification process includes the following conditions:

  • Application for certification must be submitted to a designated government body (to be determined)
  • Initial product testing must be conducted in China by a CCC accredited laboratory
  • Modifications or addition of parts need to be approved by a designated government body (to be determined)
  • Annual reporting/self factory inspection report must be submitted to a designated government body (to be determined)

The information currently provided by Chinese government authorities regarding the implementation of SDoC scheme and the transition details are still evolving.  For now, manufacturers under Annex 2 list must follow the current CCC certification process, but manufacturer’s producing Annex 1 type components can start pursuing a transition to the voluntary certification scheme today.

CCC certifications can only be issued by certification bodies that have been approved by the CNCA (Certification and Accreditation Administration) which is the top level certification organization in China. CNCA has to date only accredited two Certification Bodies for automobiles and automotive components.  These are CCAP, who specializes in only automotive certifications, and CQC, who covers a broad range of product certifications.  CNCA is adjusting the certification bodies regularly so more certification bodies may be added.

General CCC certification process include type testing, factory inspection and follow up inspection.  Type testing can be conducted by CNCA accredited test labs in China.  All the test labs located in China can apply to become a CCC lab but need to meet the CNCA requirements.

Factory inspection is required for CCC certification to ensure the product consistency and quality control program.  Factory inspections are carried out by the certification body. The certification process usually takes between 4–8 weeks not including an initial factory inspection.  Initial Factory inspections are required for factories producing CCC products for the first time.  Generally factory inspections are scheduled in batches, so auditors from China can audit multiple factories in one visit.  For automotive CCC, initial inspection is still required before issuing a CCC certificate.

It is still not clear how initial factory inspections will be handled for Annex 2 (SDoC) products.  There seems to be some agreement that annual factory inspections will be self-inspections (e.g. manufacturer or manufacturer’s rep).  These inspections will require that audit documentation is in the correct format, and uploaded to a China certification entity’s website, yet to be determined.  This could negate the requirement for certification body reps to control the audit process, giving manufacturer’s added flexibility.