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Acceptance testing agency requirement for clothing imports to China

SafeGuardSSoftlinesJuly 21, 2023

SG 92/23

China’s customs import and export commodity acceptance system was officially debuted on December 1, 2022, with the first announcement relating to clothing imports (Announcement No. 2022 of 120) being released on the same day by the General Administration of Customs.

Before clothing can be imported into China, it must be tested against mandatory standards GB 18401 and GB 31701 by an acceptance testing agency that is either an accredited local laboratory or non-China laboratory with ILAC-MRA accreditation. The reports must be uploaded to the China International Trade Single Window platform.   Reports are valid for one year from the date of issue.

Acceptance testing agencies are required to comply with Administrative Measures of the China Customs for Import and Export Commodities Inspection and Acceptance (Order No. 259 of the General Administration of Customs) Article 7. Inspection institutions that meet the following requirements, points 1, 2, 4-6 are summarized as below, may apply to the General Administration of Customs for inclusion in the catalogue of credit acceptance agencies:

  • Have the legal business qualifications of the country or region where they are located
  • Have the ability to inspect relevant accepted commodities
  • Are familiar with and comply with the relevant laws, regulations and standards of the People's Republic of China on commodity inspections
  • Have the ability to carry out inspection activities independently, impartially and objectively
  • In the past three years, there have been no illegal records related to inspections at home or abroad

(Where the General Administration of Customs has other provisions, those provisions shall prevail.)

In addition, acceptance testing agency criteria are applicable to both China local laboratories and non-China testing laboratories. China local laboratories can apply to be the acceptance testing agencies when they have China Inspection Body and Laboratory Mandatory Approval (CMA) accreditation or China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) ISO 17025 accreditation.

Non-China local testing laboratories must have international laboratory accreditation cooperation (ILAC-MRA) recognized ISO 17025 accreditation for the required test items as required for an acceptance testing agency.

The applicable imported clothing categories involve the most common product types under HS code Chapter 61, 62, including children and adult daywear, sleepwear, underwear, etc.

In 2023 first half year, SGS China 4 laboratories were approved as the acceptance testing agencies for adult and children wear. They are SGS Shanghai, Changzhou, Qingdao, and Tianjin.


SGS has an extensive network of over 40 softlines laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Visit our website, read our brochure or contact us to discover more. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested.

© SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA. This publication or website is a property of SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA. All contents including website designs, text, and graphics contained herein are owned by or licensed to SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA. The information provided is for technical and general information purposes only and offers no legal advice. The information is no substitute for professional legal advice to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. All information is provided in good faith “as is”, and SGS Société Générale de Surveillance SA makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, and does not warrant that the information will be error-free or meet any particular criteria of performance or quality.

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Louann Spirito

Louann Spirito

Consumer and Retail — Softlines
US & Canada Softlines Business Head

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