A quality testing, inspection and certification service
Testing, inspection and certification (TIC) is required for various products that are made and traded within the European Union and the United States of America.
Testing and certification prove that your product meets the legal requirements that are specified for each product group and country. In many cases, these requirements apply to the safety and reliability of a product, but some also cover environmental issues. Inspections help you assess the production process, workmanship and factory conditions and ensure they are up to standard.
For many companies, it is therefore efficient to use a testing, inspection and certification service to save costs and receive optimal guidance and assistance regarding conformity assessments and assurance processes.
1. Testing, Inspections and Certifications
The management system of ICW provides plenty of information about various testing, inspection and certification options. This includes global packages. The ICW system keeps you informed of new requirements and regulations and warns you when changes need to be made to your current technical files.
You can also use ICW’s quality management system (QMAS) if you want to perform testing, inspections or certification on new products. You can consult the ICW management system for many different TIC services.
Below we give a selection of some of the certifications that our system supports.
Ø CE marking:
The CE mark can be found on many products within and outside of the EU. It indicates that your product complies with the rules established within the European Union.
Responsibilities regarding CE marking usually belong to the manufacturer.
However, if an Economic Operator — whether the importer or distributor — markets the product under his own name or trademark or modifies them, he then takes over the manufacturer’s responsibilities regarding CE marking.
Furthermore, the Economic Operator that first places the product on the EU market — whether under his own name/trademark or not, and is usually the importer — would likely have to make sure the EU Declaration of Conformity (DoC) is kept for 10 years after the placement of the products on the market.
The drawing up and signing of the DoC is part of the entire process that comes before the affixing of the CE mark on your product.
Depending on the type and risk category of the product, CE marking may involve a Conformity Assessment by a Notified Body — an organization nominated and accredited by an EU member state to act as an independent inspector.
We help you as a manufacturer, importer, distributor or brand understand these requirements and prove compliance through testing by Notified Bodies such as SGS, Intertek and Eurofins.
Ø GS certification:
The GS (“Geprüfte Sicherheit” in German) mark is a globally recognised mark of quality. It indicates that your product conforms to the quality and safety requirements set out in the German Product Safety Act (ProdSG).
GS certification is a voluntary certification and involves rigorous evaluation of your products. Widespread acceptance by regulatory authorities and German consumers means a GS mark imparts a significant advantage over products without it.
While it was designed with the German market in mind, the GS mark is found on products all over the world.
GS certification requirements exceed those of the CE mark and the EN standard.
Thus, compliance with GS mark requirements means compliance with the EU’s CE mark requirements.
The main difference between the GS and the CE mark is that the former involves direct testing and certification by a state-approved independent body, while the latter is issued after the signing of a declaration that your product is compliant with EU legislation: the EU Declaration of Conformity (DoC). Nevertheless, the DoC still requires an assessment and possible testing of the products concerned.
Apart from technical requirements GS certification also entails a factory audit.
We help you as a manufacturer, importer, distributor or brand obtain competitive pricing for the engagement of notified bodies — such as TÜV SÜD — that carry out the GS mark certification process, as well as understand and fulfil all of the relevant requirements.
Ø FSC certification:
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent, non-profit organization with the viable management of the world’s forests as its mission.
The FSC developed the Chain of Custody (CoC) certification to ensure that products that are FSC accredited originate from well-managed forests.
According to the FSC itself, its CoC certification allows for the tracking of FSC certified material from the forest to the consumer.
The CoC is widely used to certify timber products such as paper products or furniture. However, it is also used for non-timber products that involve logging, such as medicine and jewelry.
The demand for, and public awareness regarding certified timber products is growing by the year, and FSC certification reassures consumers that their products involve a forest that is managed responsibly and sustainably.
FSC certification is voluntary but displays your commitment to ESG values amidst ever-tightening regulations.
We help you as a manufacturer, importer, distributor or brand obtain competitive pricing for your FSC audits from certification bodies such as SGS, as well as understand and fulfil all of the relevant requirements.
Ø BSCI certification:
The BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) is a social auditing methodology and report used to measure social circumstances in production facilities.
The BSCI methodology is widely used by third-party auditors to audit factories.
It should be noted that BSCI is “neither an auditing company nor an accreditation system”, according to amfori, the internationally recognized audit scheme that developed it.
The BSCI is not a certification scheme either, but “provides a system that helps companies to gradually improve working conditions in their supply chain.”
This is especially relevant to companies today due to the worldwide tightening of ESG-related regulations, such as with the newly passed (as at time of writing) German Supply Chain Act.
We help you as a manufacturer, importer, distributor or brand obtain competitive pricing for your BSCI audits from organizations such as SGS, Bureau Veritas, Intertek and Eurofins. We also help you understand and fulfil all of the relevant requirements.
Ø ISO certification:
ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, is the world’s main standardization and quality assurance body.
ISO has created more than 20,000 standards since its founding in 1947. ISO standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are widely used by third-party auditors to audit factories and their processes.
ISO certifications exist in many industries, from energy management to medical devices. There are also standards regarding social responsibility.
Each certification has separate standards and is classified numerically. For example, ISO 9001 is part of the ISO 9000 family.
However, ISO themselves are not involved in the certification process and it is the responsibility of manufacturers, importers and distributors to choose an appropriate certification body.
Furthermore, “ISO’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) has produced a number of standards related to the certification process”, according to the organization.
When choosing a certification body, you should:
Ø Evaluate several certification bodies.
Ø Check if the body uses the relevant CASCO standard.
Ø Check if it is accredited.
We help you as a manufacturer, importer, distributor or brand obtain competitive pricing for ISO audits from accredited certification bodies that use CASCO standards such as SGS, Intertek of Eurofins. We also help you understand and fulfil all of the relevant requirements.
2. Our testing, inspection and certification services
ICW is positioned — not only in the Netherlands but also internationally — among the most important testing, inspection and certification service providers.
Companies are assured of the best prices and guidance regarding ICW testing, inspection and certification services.
We provide a service that allows you to request quotes from multiple TIC companies and compare them.
On this increasingly global stage, companies need collaborators who can act with the same efficiency in any environment. ICW’s experience and software in the field of TIC contribute to the added value required in every market.
ICW’s experience and success is not only key to promoting the international reach of Dutch companies, but also generates and instills confidence on an international scale within the scope of commercial and business relations.