China – National standard <Shanks for Footwear> was transformed from a mandatory standard to a voluntary standard
SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 077/17
According to the No.7 Chinese national standard announcement in 2017, national standard <Shanks for footwear> was transformed from a mandatory standard to a voluntary standard on March 23, 2017. The standard code was transformed from GB 28011-2011 to GB/T 28011-2011.
GB 28011-2011<Shanks for footwear> (now GB/T 28011-2011) was applicable to steel shanks used for footwear and led to a significant failure rate in shank test items. The following chart summarises the leather shoes and leather sandals spot check released by Shanghai QTS from 2014 to 2016 and highlights the high level of failed shank batches.
Chart 1 summary of leather shoes and leather sandals spot check released by Shanghai QTS from 2014 to 2016
One of the reasons why shanks have shown such a high failure rate in recent years is due to the standard for steel shanks in shoes requiring conformance to the requirements of marking, minimum length, stiffness, hardness and bending performance, all of which were mandatory. After the recent change from a mandatory to a voluntary standard, shanks only need to conform to the requirements in the claimed product standard and not to the additional requirement of GB/T 28011 unless the product specifically claims GB/T 28011.
There are 5 product standards and one mandatory standard with a requirement related to shanks. Based on the actual reference condition, there are two types of changes going from GB 28011 to GB/T 28011 which are summarised as:
Type 1: There are three product standards referring to parts of GB/T 28011. Since the update, it's sufficient for the shank component to conform only to the product standard and the detailed test items of the shank will be changed as per Table 1.
Table 1 Standards referred to parts of GB/T 28011
|Claimed product standard||The shank test items before transformation||The shank test items after transformation|
|GB/T 22756-2008 Leather sandals||Stiffness, hardness, size, bending performance, marking||Stiffness, hardness, size|
|QB/T 1002-2015 Leather shoes||Stiffness, hardness, minimum length, bending performance|
|QB/T 4546-2013 Children leather sandals||Stiffness, hardness, length, bending performance, marking|
Type 2: There are three standards referring to the complete GB/T 28011. Since the update, the shank component should conform to all of the items in GB/T 28011-2011, which means there is no change to the test items.
Table 2 Standards referred to complete GB/T 28011
|Claimed product standard or applied mandatory standard||The shank test items before transformation||The shank test items after transformation|
|GB 30585-2014 Safety technical specifications for children’s footwear||Stiffness, hardness, size, bending performance, marking, appearance, fatigue resistance||Stiffness, hardness, size, bending performance, marking, appearance, fatigue resistance|
|QB/T 4329-2012 Cloth shoes|
|QB/T 4332-2012 Craftwork shoes|
As the standard has been updated, shoe companies should update their quality control manuals accordingly in order to legally sell their products in the China market.
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