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China Issues Guidelines on Random Inspection of Goods Traded Online

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce issued the Opinions on Strengthening and Regulating the Random Inspection of the Quality of Goods Traded Online on 17 November in a bid to strengthen the management of supervision over the quality of goods traded online.

The Opinions proposed that in the organisation and implementation stage of random inspection, the industry and commerce administrative department should promote the random inspection of goods and the random selection of online traders and strengthen supervision over the quality of goods traded online. Towards goods with problematic quality reported in consumer complaints, reflected by the organisations concerned and discovered during administrative law enforcement, it is necessary to organise random inspection and draw up working schedules and implementation plans for random inspection. The industry and commerce administrative department must notify the randomly drawn online traders of the result within five working days after receipt of the inspection findings. The named producer must be notified if the sampled goods are found to be substandard. The third-party trading platform operators should also be notified if the samples were randomly drawn from these platforms. The randomly drawn online traders and the named producers of the samples may apply for re-examination if they dispute the inspection findings.

The industry and commerce administrative department should promptly announce to the public the findings of the random inspection of online traded goods in accordance with law. The online trading platform operators should be ordered to immediately stop selling goods found to be substandard in the random inspection and should be responsible for returns. The industry and commerce administrative department must investigate and punish the law-breaking acts of online traders, record the administrative penalties in the credit archive of enterprises, and announce these to the public through the enterprise credit information disclosure system.

The Opinions also clearly spelled out the responsibility of third-party trading platform operators for quality control and their obligation to establish a system for assisting the departments concerned in carrying out supervision and law enforcement and assisting and cooperating with the industry and commerce administrative department in conducting random inspection.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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