HQTS Attended Ethics Standards Conference

HQTS recently participated in developing standards regarding bribery in the Testing, Inspections, and Certification industry in China. The standards are the TIC industry Self-Disciplined Code of Conduct and the TIC Industry Employees Code of Conduct. Government departments, social groups, HQTS, and other major industry players contributed to the successful completion of the draft proposals.

On July 31, 2019, the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQ) hosted a conference in Beijing, China, to review the proposals.

Conference attendees agreed that bribery and corruption is a source of serious threat to the TIC industry. Thus, a practical approach to self-regulation based on the draft standards was necessary to combat this threat. The HQTS representative proposed that the standards should include a “Blacklist” system which would maintain a listing of all employees with a verifiable record of unethical behavior and bribery.

Under this system, any person employed in the TIC industry found to have a proven record of unethical activities shall be barred from the TIC industry. TIC providers would share such information to a centralized database.

HQTS has long been a proponent for such a list. They believe it will go a long way towards eliminating churning of unethical industry people. Appropriate protocols would be established for employee challenges, warnings, and readmission.  The list would be an essential step in creating greater accountability, reducing bribery, and increasing trust in the TIC industry in China. HQTS’s proposal was well received with discussion to follow regarding planning and implementation.

The TIC industry plays a critical role in servicing the economy and promoting quality trade practices. Adding standards and controls to encourage self-discipline and behavior of employees in the industry can further server those interests.

The TIC conference called on the public and the media to recognize and support the effort to join in the fight against unethical behavior and bribery, which are not just limited to the TIC industry.

HQTS representative, Mr. Bruce Wang (right) attended the conference

HQTS Approved by Amazon as an APASS package testing and certification provider

HQTS is pleased to announce that Amazon has approved our lab as an APASS package testing provider.

HQTS is pleased to announce that Amazon has approved our lab as an APASS package testing provider.

Mr. Richard Fan, President of HQTS Group Ltd, stated, “We are pleased to add this capability to our testing operations. While we have been working with many companies for some years to ensure Amazon packaging compliance, we are happy to be recognized by Amazon for our technical capabilities in this specialized ISTA packaging space.” Mr. Fan continued, “With the rise of eCommerce distribution center specific packing, HQTS is in a unique position to assist companies to comply with, not only APASS, but all eCommerce distribution center requirements.”

Located in Hangzhou China, our primary laboratory is staffed with experienced technicians and engineers who bring many years of packaging experience in servicing our customer’s needs. As more and more Asian companies integrate sales operations with Amazon and other eCommerce platforms, this will underscore our ability to facilitate their understanding and implementation of APASS requirements.

As an ISTA certified testing lab, HQTS can test and certify your product packaging for Tier 1: FFP, Tier 2: SIOC and Tier 3: PFP without requiring any additional testing or documentation from Amazon. Once your product packaging passes the target certification, we provide you with the Amazon standard lab report that you will upload to Amazon for quick certification.

About HQTS Group Ltd: HQTS is the parent company of five international quality assurance companies providing inspections, testing, factory audits, supply chain, and consulting services for our global clients. With more than 1500 employees in 20 + countries, HQTS has been a provider of Quality Assurance and Supply Chain related services since 1987. Find more information at www.hqts.com.

HQTS-QAI Attended Salon on Transportation Packaging

The tremendous development of global E-business industry has resulted in more sophisticated requirements for the packaging and logistics industry. Packaging plays an essential role in the production, distribution, and consumption of consumer goods. But some negative aspects have arisen — for example, environmental pollution from packaging waste and waste created by excessive packaging. Pollution from packaging waste has increased public concern, which has driven new regulatory initiatives. The Transport Packaging Committee of China Packaging Federation and ISTA China organized the event. The event coincided with the 19th China International Transportation and Logistics Expo in Hangzhou on July 3, 2019. The purpose of the event was to discuss these issues and search for solutions.

The event covered three key topics that are driving change in the industry.

  • Sustainable packaging development
  • The development and promotion of intelligent and recyclable packaging Packing compliance for hazardous goods during road transport
  • The promotion of the development of high-quality road transportation in China

Representatives came from many industries, including government, professional committees, logistics, and third-party labs participated, including Mr. Zeng Liang, Senior Engineer, Packaging Laboratory, HQTS-QAI who was invited to speak.

Among the other attending companies were the Lansmont Corporation, Deppon Express, P&G (China), Atmet, BASF (China), China Packaging Research and Testing Center, and Shanghai Institute of Chemical Engineering.

HQTS-QAI is a subsidiary of HQTS Group Ltd. On of Asia’s oldest and largest quality assurance organizations with operations on more than 20 countries and 1500 employees.

Mr. Zeng Liang (the second in the left), Senior Engineer of Packaging Laboratory of HQTS-QAI spoke in the Salon

The event established a platform to help businesses in various industries obtain logistical and packaging technology information and collaborate on methods to improve transportation security.

The packaging industry has transferred from a single service category to comprehensive logistics services. HQTS-QAI is a member of ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) and has complete transportation and packaging testing lab in Hangzhou. We help our clients packaging meet the ever-changing requirements for transporting their goods safely.

The Salon site

Four New Substances Added to SVHC Candidate List, Updated to 201

On July 16, 2019, ECHA added 4 new substances to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs). The authorization now contains 201 substances. The new substances to the Candidate List are carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction, persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and bioaccumulative (vPvB) properties.

Following are the substances included in the Candidate List for authorization on July 16, 2019, and their SVHC properties:

# Substance name EC number CAS number Reason for inclusion Examples of use(s)
1 2-methoxyethyl acetate 203-772-9 110-49-6 Toxic for reproduction (Article 57 (c)) Not registered under REACH.
2 Tris(4-nonylphenol, branched and linear) phosphite (TNPP) with ≥ 0.1% w/w of 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear (4-NP) Endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57(f) – environment) Primarily used as an antioxidant to stabilize polymers.
3 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionic acid, its salts and its acyl halides (covering any of their isomers and combinations thereof) Equivalent level of concern having probable serious effects to the environment (Article 57(f) – environment) Processing aid in the production of fluorinated polymers.
Equivalent level of concern having probable serious effects to human health (Article 57(f) – human health)
4 4-tert-butyl phenol 202-679-0 98-54-4 Endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57(f) – environment) Used in coating products, polymers, adhesives, sealants and for the synthesis of other substances.

 

EU Proposes to Expand Lead Restrictions under REACH

On July 12, 2019, the World Trade Organization (WTO) circulated a proposal from the European Union (EU) announcing its intention to expand the scope of lead restrictions falling under entry 63 to Annex XVII of REACH. The draft regulation and Annex, notified under G/TBT/N/EU/668, contain the following:

  • Prohibits the use of lead in articles manufactured from polymers or copolymers of vinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Prohibits the placing goods on the market containing at least 0.1% lead when manufactured from polymers or copolymers of PVC.
  • Provides a 15-year exemption for specific rigid articles containing no more than 2% lead in recovered PVC materials – the lead concentration is strengthened to 0.1% in the layer that prevents leaching and formation of lead-containing dust during service covering the recovered PVC in these applications
  • Provides a 15-year exemption for specific flexible articles containing no more than 1% lead in recovered flexible (soft) PVC materials – the lead concentration is strengthened to 0.1% in other materials that prevent leaching and formation of lead-containing dust during article service used with recovered PVC in these applications
  • Requires suppliers of rigid and flexible articles containing recovered PVC materials to mark the item with the phrase ‘Contains recovered PVC’ on the packaging before these articles can be sold
  • Providing a 10-year exemption for PVC-silica separators in lead acid-batteries
  • Requires suppliers of rigid and flexible PVC articles to submit documentary evidence (EN 15343 or similar standards) on the recovered origin of PVC in these articles when requested
  • Exempts the following articles – food contact materials and articles (Regulation (EC) 1935/2004), electrical and electronic equipment (EEE, Directive 2011/65/EU), packaging (Directive 94/62/EC) and toys (Directive 2009/48/EC)
  • Exempts jewelry articles and articles supplied to the general public described in the preceding paragraphs under entry 63 to Annex XVII of REACH

According to the WTO document, the draft regulation is proposed to be adopted in Q3 of 2019. The proposed date of entry into force is 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU), and the provisions would be implemented in phases starting two years after the date of entry into force.

Highlights of the general prohibition/restriction of lead-containing PVC or PVC copolymer goods are summarized in the below table.

Substance Scope Requirement Effective date 
Lead and its compounds (as lead) Use in PVC or PVC copolymer articles Prohibited 2 years after the date of entry into force (possibly late 2021)
Placing on the market for PVC or PVC copolymer articles < 0.1%

 

Package Reliability and Cargo Insurance Conference

To further promote research on packaging reliability, cargo insurance, and innovation in freight transportation insurance products, the China Packaging Federation Transportation and Packaging Committee held “The package Reliability Authentication and Cargo Insurance Conference” at HQTS-QAI on July 2, 2019.

The core of the research work was to establish cargo transport insurance terms and service systems through research of transportation and packaging technology. For packaging that passes reliability testing and obtains relevant certification, the insurance covers the risk of cargo damage due to packaging failure. The research also seeks to integrate the resources from technical organizations, testing organizations, consultants, and others to provide comprehensive system-wide services such as consulting, process design, supervision, risk management evaluation, and damage prevention.

Ms. Lu Binglin, Secretary-General of ISTA (second from left)

The primary work of this conference was to establish standards for the development of the Technical Specification for Recyclable Boxes.

Representatives from HQTS-QAI, China Packaging Research and Testing Center (CPRTC), Procter & Gamble, Suning.com, JD.com, Cainiao Smart Lockers and Grayscale Environmental Protection Technology and other companies collaborated on the standard framework and content. The participants reached a consensus by the end of the conference on the final revision to the standards.

Conference Site

As the member of the ISTA China Council, HQTS-QAI hosted, and actively participated in the activities of the conference and actively contributed to the “innovation project”. As a leading transport packaging testing agency, HQTS-QAI has advocated for testing and certification of transport packaging standards.

Some Representatives in the HQTS-QAI lobby with Ms. Lu Binglin (center)

HQTS Group Attended China – India Investment and Trade Promotion Conference

South Asia continues to be the most dynamic economic region in the world. South Asia not only benefits from low labor cost, being unaffected by the trade war between China and USA but also from the Chinese government building on historical ties to help countries in the region align their development strategies with the Belt and Road initiative.

China Fujian Provincial Government, the Chinese Embassy in India and the Federation of Indian Industries hosted “China (Fujian Province) – India Investment and Trade Promotion Conference” in New Delhi, India on June 27, 2019. The organizers used the event to introduce Fujian’s investment environment and preferential policies. It also served to build ties between Fujian and Indian enterprises, seeking two-way investment and trade opportunities, and to deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

As global leading third-party services provider in quality assurance, HQTS Group representatives attended the conference including Mr. Sam Li, EVP, HQTS Group Ltd., and Mrs. Julie Lai, VP, HQTS Group Ltd. HQTS representatives were invited to introduce HQTS Group’s history in the last 20 years and share future development strategy in South Asia.

Mr. Zhang Zhinan (6th from right, delegates from HQTS and other entities)

“It was a great honor to participate in the conference as an enterprise representative of Fujian Province”, said Sam Li. He continued, “HQTS is grateful for the opportunity to continue to expand and deepen communication and cooperation with Indian companies in various industries. This event is important to our strategy of growth in India, other South Asia countries, and in support of national strategies in both countries”.

Mr. Sam Li (left) Mr. Zhang (center) and Mrs. Julie Lai (right)

The HQTS India office was established 10 years ago when we introduced professional quality assurance services and advanced technology to India. The office manages our services for our many customers in the region and promotes new business development. We expanded the local team and upgraded the office to branch level status in January of 2016 to offer enhanced services for our customers in the region.

HQTS efforts fully support the China strategy of growing national brands globally and earning our customers’ trust.

HQTS attended China Fujian- Bangladesh Economy and Trade Cooperative Matchmaking Conference

To further strengthen economic ties and trade cooperation between Fujian Province and Bangladesh, the Fujian Provincial Government, the Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Bangladesh Overseas Chinese Association hosted the “China Fujian- Bangladesh Economy and Trade Cooperative Matchmaking Conference” in Dhaka on June 29, 2019.

Bangladesh was the second stop for the Fujian Provincial delegation’s visit in South Asia.  Bangladesh is an essential country in the One Belt and One Road initiative. As the only representatives of the TIC Conference (testing, inspection, and certificate) industry in the delegation, Mrs. Julie Lai, VP, HQTS Group Ltd., spoke at the conference. She reviewed the 25-year history of HQTS Group and discussed future developments in the region. She said, “HQTS Group is determined to spare no effort in supporting the national ‘One Belt and One Road’ strategy by providing quality control services for Bangladesh’ exported market”. She also highlighted areas in which HQTS is developing long-term investment and development plans in Bangladesh.

Mrs. Julie speaks to conference attendees

China Fujian- Bangladesh Economy and Trade Cooperative Matchmaking Conference

During the Conference, HQTS representatives also discussed economic and trade cooperation between Fujian and Bangladesh businesses and exchanged opinions with local businesses. HQTS invited Bangladesh businesses to invest in China and establish efficient channels of communication and to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation in various fields.

After the conference, the Fujian delegation accompanied Mr. Ma Guowu, the Deputy Director of the Asian Department of the Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce, in a visit to the Fujian Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh and learned about establishing local businesses. The delegates expressed satisfaction and thanks to hosts for the valuable things learned at the conference.

Bangladesh is the first country to join the “One Belt One Road” initiative. In recent years, HQTS has adhered to fundamental principles of the imitative, namely, “communication, construction, and sharing”. Guided by these principles, HQTS continues to provide quality assurance services for our customers in Bangladeshi. HQTS has a robust training program where essential staff travel to the country to train local employees, develop inspection and testing talent, and technical proficiencies that meet the needs of the industry. This program provides excellent employment and professional growth opportunities for young people entering the job market. The program is achieving outstanding results. HQTS is determined to strengthen and deepen trade cooperation in Bangladesh, develop more partners, expand service categories, and see greater reach in the market.

With continuous expansion of the “One Belt One Road” initiative, HQTS will continue to grow our quality and supply chain services into more developing countries to help ensure all the products they export meet the quality standards of global markets.

MSC Identifies HFPO-DA as the Substance of Very High Concern

On 27 June 2019, The Member State Committee (MSC) unanimously agreed to identify 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionic acid, its salts and its acyl halides (covering any of their individual isomers and combinations thereof) (denoted as HFPO-DA) as substances of very high concern (SVHCs). ECHA will include the newly identified SVHCs in the Candidate List by mid-July 2019.

The substances are used as processing aids for producing fluoro-polymers with many applications, such as fluoropolymer resins, wire cables and coatings. They were proposed as hazardous substances by the Netherlands due to their properties which cause probable serious effects to human health and the environment, giving rise to an equivalent level of concern to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR), persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substances.

MSC acknowledged that HFPO-DA has a high potential to cause effects in wildlife and in humans through the environment due to its very high persistence, mobility in water, potential for long-range transport, accumulation in plants and observed effects on human health and the environment.

Furthermore, the committee noted the lack of known natural removal of HFPO-DA once released, leading to a continuous presence in water and resulting in the continuous bioavailability of these substances. It also noted the expected exposure through the food chain and drinking water, as well as difficulties to remediate polluted media and remove HFPO-DA from drinking water.

Together, these contribute to a high potential for continuous, increasing and widespread exposure to these substances which would be difficult to reverse. While in isolation, none of these observations may be of equivalent level of concern, the MSC unanimously agreed that in combination they show that there is scientific evidence of probable serious effects to the environment and humans. The MSC also noted that co-exposure to other contaminants with similar effects may occur, which strengthens the concern for HFPO-DA.

P-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene Added to the California Proposition 65 List

On June 28, 2019, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene (para-Chlorobenzotrifluoride, PCBTF) to the list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer for purposes of Proposition 65.

The listing of p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene is based on formal identification by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) that the chemical causes cancer.  The criteria used by OEHHA for the listing of chemicals under the “authoritative bodies” mechanism can be found in Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs., section 25306.

The documentation supporting OEHHA’s determination that the criteria for administrative listing have been satisfied for p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene is included in the “Notice of Intent to List: p-Chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene (para-Chlorobenzotrifluoride, PCBTF)” posted on OEHHA’s website and published in the November 23, 2018 issue of the California Regulatory Notice Register (Register 2018, No. 47-Z).

Detailed information of the newly added substance is shown as below:

Chemical CAS No. Endpoint Listing Mechanism*
p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene (para-Chlorobenzotrifluoride, PCBTF) Cancer AB (NTP)

*Listing mechanism:  AB – “authoritative bodies” mechanism (Title 27, Cal. Code of Regs. section 25306).