The Department of Commerce’s Trade Agreements Compliance Program, led by the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Unit, recently helped Klinge Corporation, a small company based in York, Pennsylvania; overcome inconsistent certification requirements that threatened to exclude it from the Chinese market.
Why it Matters: $8.5 million in export sales was in jeopardy because China imposed overly restrictive certification requirements on a small company. Had China refused to certify Klinge’s refrigerated transportation containers and the paint to be applied to them before they were re-exported to Australia, Klinge could have lost the $8.5 million contract and potential future sales.
The Problem: In the midst of fulfilling an $8.5 million contract, Klinge Corp. ran into problems with Chinese customs officials, who improperly impounded a key paint component, claiming it failed to meet Chinese certification requirements. In addition, Chinese officials determined that Klinge’s refrigerator and generator units, who had previously been exempt from China’s Compulsory Certification (CCC) requirements, were suddenly subject to the CCC requirements.
The Solution: After a series of unproductive meetings with Chinese freight forwarders and customs officers, Klinge contacted MAC. In response, MAC invited representatives of Klinge to join other U.S. industry representatives in an ITA-sponsored roundtable in Ningbo, China, where the China Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) committed itself to intervene on behalf of the company. Concurrently, the ITA team raised the issue with Chinese officials, emphasizing China’s World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations. In a matter of months after the initial contact with MAC, Klinge obtained the necessary certification for the paint and received certification exemptions for the refrigerators and generators. China’s fulfilling its obligation under the WTO will also benefit other U.S. exporters to China who may face similar certification-related obstacles to trade.