From May 1st, 2014, a mandatory Chinese national standard GB 5296.4-2012 “Instructions for use of products of consumer interest- Part 4: Textiles and apparel” will take effect. All textiles and apparel sold in China fall into its applicable scope.
A principle established in this mandatory standard requires that instructions for use should be supplied with all products. Chinese must be used for specifications while other languages are optional. The term “instruction for use” means the information conveyed to the users on proper and safe use and other details related to the functions, basic properties and unique features of the product. Labels, instruction booklets, data plates etc. are all acceptable.
Contents of instruction for use should include:
- Name and address of the manufacturer
- Product name
- Size and type (refer to GB/T 1335 or GB/T 6411 for apparels)
- Fiber composition and content (refer to FZ/T 01053; refer to QB/T 2262 for leather apparels)
- Maintenance method (refer to GB/T 8685)
- Production standard
- Class of safety evaluation (refer to GB 18401)
- Notes for use and storage
Based on some common problems, CIQ authorities suggest that importers of foreign textiles and apparel should:
1. Be fully aware of China’s mandatory requirements on textiles and apparels.
- GB 5296.4-2012 Instructions for use of products of consumer interest- Part 4: Textiles and apparel
- GB 18401-2010 National general safety technical code for textile products
- GB 20400-2006 Leather and fur - Limit of harmful matter
2. Ask the foreign suppliers, before shipment, to provide satisfactory reports issued by qualified testing institutions on relevant endpoints.
At present, the entry inspections on textile products mainly include the following items:
Textile products for infants
Other textile products
3. Attach adequate importance to labelling. Labels, as well as other forms of instruction for use, must have Chinese versions. The authenticity and accuracy of Information on the labels, especially the constituent information attached to every single product, must be guaranteed. Otherwise, it would infringe on consumer rights and may constitute commercial fraud and require replacement of all labels.