Overview of Certificate of Quality (CQ)

The import-export industry places a great deal of importance on the quality and safety of goods. This is especially true as global trade continues to develop and cross-border transactions become more common. However, due to differences in standards, regulations, and laws between countries, ensuring that goods meet the required quality and safety criteria of the importing country can be challenging. To address this issue, the Certificate of Quality (CQ) was introduced and has become an essential tool in international trade transactions. Let’s explore with SSR Logistics what CQ is and why it is important for international trade transactions. 

Certificate of Quality (C/Q) for Goods 

What is the Certificate of Quality (CQ)? 

The Certificate of Quality (CQ) is an official document issued by competent authorities or reputable certification and inspection organizations. The CQ certifies that the product or service has fully met the specific standards, regulations and requirements regarding quality, safety and the environment according to the regulations of the importing country or widely recognized international standards. The CQ demonstrates that the product not only achieves good quality but also complies with the necessary standards and regulations. 

This is an important document in international trade transactions, helping to build trust and confidence among the participating parties. 

The Role of the Certificate of Quality (CQ) 

The Certificate of Quality (CQ) plays a crucial role in international trade transactions with the following essential purposes: 

  • First, the CQ ensures that the traded goods fully meet the published and globally recognized quality standards. Most CQ-issuing organizations are accredited according to ISO/IEC Guide 65:1996, ensuring objectivity and transparency in the product evaluation and certification process. 
  • Second, the CQ is authenticated proof that the company has fully complied with the legal obligations and inspection regulations of the state agencies related to the production and trading of those goods. This helps the company demonstrate its compliance responsibilities. 
  • Third, the CQ plays an essential role in ensuring product safety and quality for consumers. Only goods that meet strict standards are granted the CQ, thereby protecting the rights of consumers when using the products. 
  • Fourth, possessing a CQ allows products to circulate and be marketed smoothly in international markets. The CQ is the “golden key” to overcoming trade barriers, opening up business opportunities and accessing larger markets. 
  • Finally, the CQ contributes to building the company’s reputation and position in the international arena. This is an important competitive advantage, helping companies ensure compliance with regulations and standards when participating in international tenders or cooperating with major partners. 

In general, the Certificate of Quality (CQ) plays an important role in building trust, facilitating smooth and safe international trade, while protecting the rights and interests of the parties involved in the transaction. 

Content and Forms of C/Q 

Content of C/Q 

Depending on the type of goods as well as different fields, the C/Q may have different contents. However, they still reflect the basic necessary information such as: 

  • Specific document title: CERTIFICATE OF QUALITY. 
  • Information about the manufacturer: Full name, detailed address of the company that manufactures the goods. 
  • Information about the buyer: Name and specific address of the individual, unit or company importing the goods. 
  • Information about the batch of goods: Detailed description of the goods, including code, quantity, weight or volume of the entire batch. 
  • Time and place of export/import: Clearly state the expected time of export/import, along with the specific addresses of the port of export and port of import. 
  • Quality confirmation: This part includes the manufacturer’s logo, along with the official signature and stamp of the authorized representative at the manufacturing unit, confirming that the goods meet all the prescribed quality standards. 
  • Reference to applicable standards: The C/Q may list specific international quality standards or those of the importing country that the goods have met. 
  • Date of issuance and validity period: The date of issuance of the C/Q and the period for which it is valid. 

This information plays an important role in verifying the origin, quality of goods and ensuring the rights and interests of the parties involved in international trade transactions. 

Classification of Certificate of Quality (C/Q) Forms 

The Certificate of Quality (C/Q) is classified into two main types: voluntary C/Q certificate and mandatory C/Q certificate. 

  • Voluntary C/Q Certificate: 
    • This applies to products that meet domestic or international production standards. 
    • The certificate is issued at the request of an organization or individual. 
    • The assessment method can be flexible, based on certification or declaration of conformity by the organization/individual, but must ensure accuracy with the actual product. 
    • In some cases, if the customer requires it, the voluntary C/Q certificate will become mandatory in the transaction. 
  • Mandatory C/Q Certificate: 
    • This is a quality certification carried out according to the mandatory requirements of state management agencies. 
    • The mandatory C/Q certificate typically applies to sensitive products and goods that have a significant impact on public health, safety, and the environment. 
    • The process of assessment and issuance of the certificate must strictly comply with the regulations and standards prescribed by state agencies. 

The Certificate of Quality (C/Q) is not a mandatory document in the customs dossier when carrying out import and export procedures for goods. However, the C/Q is an important document that brings many benefits to the business operations of enterprises. Possessing a C/Q will help increase customer confidence in the quality and safety of the product. 

Although not mandatory in all cases, for certain types of imported goods, enterprises are required to submit the Certificate of Quality in the dossier for state quality inspection. For example, when importing specialized motorcycles, the C/Q is one of the necessary documents that must be provided. 


samples of C/Q quality certificates

Dossier for applying for Product Quality Certificate (C/Q) 

To be considered and granted a C/Q by the competent authority, individuals/businesses need to prepare a complete dossier, including the following documents: 

  • Application for Product Quality Certificate as per the form prescribed by the certification authority. 
  • Notarized copy of the Business Registration Certificate/Enterprise Registration Certificate of the manufacturing/trading unit of the product. 
  • Detailed layout plan of the manufacturing facility, accompanied by a full description of the manufacturing process and product storage, certified by the local authorities. 
  • Documentation confirming that the facility owner and employees directly involved in manufacturing have been adequately trained on the knowledge related to the product and manufacturing process. 
  • Health certificates of the facility owner and all employees directly involved in the product manufacturing/trading process. 

Additionally, depending on each specific product type, the certification authority may require supplementary documents such as technical dossiers, applicable standards, testing reports, etc. 

Once the dossier is complete and meets the requirements of the certification authority, an evaluation and inspection process will be conducted to assess granting the product quality certificate, ensuring the product meets the required quality and safety standards before being released to the market. 

Authorities, Duration, and Fees for Issuing Quality Certificates (C/Q) 

Authorities Issuing Quality Certificates (C/Q) 

There are two main authorities with the power to issue Quality Certificates (CQ) for products: 

  • Ministry of Industry and Trade 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade carries out the issuance of CQs through its affiliated agencies such as the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, local Departments of Standards, Metrology and Quality, and other specialized units. 

  • Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) 

VCCI is the representative organization of the Vietnamese business community and has the authority to issue CQs for its member enterprises. 

In addition, some international organizations and independent certification bodies may also issue CQs for imported and exported goods to specific markets as required by the importing country. 

Duration and Fees for Obtaining C/Q  

The time and cost for obtaining a CQ – Quality Certificate is an important factor that enterprises need to pay close attention to and carefully consider. The time to obtain a CQ usually takes from 3 to 5 working days for regular products. However, for specific products such as functional foods or dietary supplements, this process may take longer, up to around 20 working days. 

Regarding the fees for obtaining a CQ, the amount will depend on many factors such as the quantity of products, type of products, the size of the enterprise, and specific requirements from the issuing authority. However, in general, this fee is considered reasonable to ensure the quality and reputation of imported and exported goods. Enterprises need to calculate and carefully consider the cost of obtaining a CQ in their total production and business costs to ensure economic efficiency. 

Understanding the time and cost of obtaining a CQ will help enterprises plan and arrange their work efficiently, avoiding unnecessary delays or incidental costs in the process of importing and exporting goods. 

Procedures and Process for Obtaining C/Q  

After completing the preparation of all required documents, the enterprise will carry out the following steps in the process of obtaining a Quality Certificate (CQ): 

Step 1: Apply CQ 

The enterprise submits the prepared dossier to the authorized agency for issuing CQs such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, VCCI or other certification organizations. 

Step 2: Receipt and verification of dossier validity 

The receiving agency will check the completeness and validity of the dossier according to regulations. In case the dossier is incomplete, the agency will request the enterprise to supplement it. 

Step 3: On-site inspection 

If the dossier is valid, the CQ issuing agency will send an inspection team to directly evaluate the enterprise’s production facility. The inspection team will assess the production process, product quality and related factors. 

Step 4: Issuance of Quality Certificate 

After completing the inspection process, if the results meet the requirements, the CQ issuing agency will grant the Quality Certificate for the enterprise’s product. The CQ will be valid for a certain period and the enterprise needs to renew it periodically.  

Procedures for Getting the CQ 

The process of obtaining a CQ requires thorough preparation of documents and meeting the strict requirements of the issuing authority to ensure that products meet quality and safety standards before being released to the market. 

Customs Clearance Services for Getting a CQ 

With over 15 years of experience in the logistics field, SSR Logistics has become a trusted partner of many shipping lines and airlines in Vietnam. We specialize in providing international freight forwarding services, comprehensive customs clearance, and Certificate of Quality (CQ) obtainment services for businesses. 

We provide comprehensive customs clearance services, including: 

  • Certificate of Quality for Goods (CQ) 
  • Certificate of Origin for Goods (CO) 
  • HS code lookup 
  • Fumigation 
  • Plant and animal quarantine inspection 
  • Quality announcements for food, cosmetics, etc. 

When using services at SSR Logistics, customers will be fully consulted and supported on procedures and documentation requirements promptly. Our experienced team will supervise and handle any issues that may arise smoothly, whether for small shipments or large project shipments. This ensures that the customs clearance and delivery of goods to customers is safe and fastest. 

If any issues arise, SSR Logistics will handle them promptly to minimize costs beyond the initial quotation. We are committed to ensuring that customers’ goods are transported at the lowest and most competitive time and cost in the market. 

Through this article, SSR Logistics hopes that our valued customers now have a comprehensive overview of the certificate of quality of goods.  For more articles, please visit our Logistics Knowledge section.    

SSR looks forward to becoming your reliable logistics partner, providing optimal solutions for your importing and exporting business. Should you have any question regarding our services, please feel free to contact us for specific advice.   

With our experienced team, extensive network and flexible shipping & customs solutions, SSR Logistics is confident to deliver excellent services to our clients.  

Businesses that need customs and import-export consulting, please contact SSR Logistics via Hotline (+84) 911 988 484 or leave your information here for specific advice. 

With a modern warehouse system and experienced transportation staff, SSR Logistics provides a variety of additional services such as: customs clearance, warehouse leasing, domestic transportation, international transportation by sea and air, and international express delivery

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