This situation is delicate. Often you will discover it after a certain period of time, when you are exporting your products without any problems. Then suddenly your product is no longer in compliance, and will be blocked and rejected in the export country.
The costs are so high, that it is necessary to carry out a search to find the cause of the blocking. You discover that there are differences in the approval analysis, between yours and the one of the customs or your customer. Furthermore the lot is rejected. That’s obviously very frustrating.
To minimise the risk of non-conforming products, it’s primary to know what to watch for. Hereunder some examples of situations that you can encounter while exporting your product. In this case we are thus speaking about the analyses which are carried out by your customer or by the customs.
- A different analytic method is applied to test the conformity of your product against legal criteria and its specification.
- The detection limit of the analytic method used for the import is lower, transforming “Absent” in “Present”.
- The criteria that you specify has a different meaning in the exporting country and therefore two different things are being analysed. In the case that the results are satisfactory, yours and the ones in the export country, no questions will be raised.
- The importance given to decimals or to natural variations is much bigger. It was just not explicitly mentioned.
It’s advised to determine in advance which analytic methods will be applied during the importation and at your customer. Hereunder you will find some tips to avoid to get into the mentioned situations.
- Try to look to your product through the eyes of the customs and your customer.
- Involve your quality department and the one from your export customer during the process. It’s an extra action, of which the value should not be underestimated.
- Continue the communication with the customer, after the product has been sold.
- Look in advance if the same analytic methods are applied to the specified criteria. Obtain the ISO norms of the analytic methods from your customer and compare them.
- In the case of absence of the ISO norms, compare the flowcharts and their analysis criteria. Utilize the same process for your product release.
The application of the above advices gives a bit more work during the product development process. However, the time and the costs of these researches are nihil compared to the rejection of a production lot. A better contact with your customer and the assurance of a better customer satisfaction are other advantages.