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International Comparison of Product Certification and Verification Methods for Appliances

The International Comparison of Product Certification and Verification Methods for Appliances study endeavors to:

  1. Review international best practices for product certification and verification as they relate to the enforcement of appliance standards and labeling programs in the U.S., E.U., Australia, Japan, Canada, and China; and,
  2. Provide recommendations to the Chinese government for the implementation of improved certification processes related to their mandatory standards and labeling program so as to increase compliance rates and energy savings potential.


Enforcement of appliance standards and consumer trust in appliance labeling are important foundations in the development of a more energy efficient economy. Product certification and verification increase compliance rates, which in turn increase both energy savings and consumer trust.

Practices for product certification and verification vary across the world, with some programs focusing solely on either certification or verification (such as in Australia and Canada) and other programs focusing on both (such as ENERGY STAR in the U.S.). Accreditation practices for testing laboratories and certification bodies also vary, with some appliance standards and labeling programs building databases to house all information on products and compliance.

The number of products covered by China’s mandatory standards program and labeling program has rapidly increased in recent years up to 44 products and 23 products, respectively. The Chinese government is currently seeking to improve the compliance rate for these products without reinventing its current organizational structure.

Based on a review of international practices in product certification and verification, the authors of this study offer the following recommendations to the Chinese government in the development of a more robust MV&E system:

  1. Organize certification bodies.
  2. Mandate certification process.
  3. Allow witness testing.
  4. Adapt from international standards.
  5. Standardize verification testing.


Introducing third party product certification and verification for the Chinese government’s mandatory standards and labeling programs has the potential to significantly improve compliance levels without heavy administrative burden.


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