I’ve spent the last decade based in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong, working with manufacturers across a wide range of industries. Electronics, textiles, toys and children’s products, furniture, kitchen products… the list goes on.
That’s also how I got into the world of product compliance.
Our customers in Europe, even major retailers, didn’t have a clue about safety standards, certification, and labeling. Neither did their manufacturers in China, where I was working at the time.
When I started out, I had no product compliance expertise whatsoever. But, I quickly came to the realization that things just didn’t add up.
If buyers and suppliers are equally clueless, doesn’t that mean that markets are flooded with non-compliant and unsafe products?
Aren’t importers taking huge risks when they assume that their manufacturers in Asia somehow got them covered?
It quickly became apparent to me that we were onto something big. I even dare say that the problem turned out to be far bigger than I initially anticipated.
I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve dealt with all sorts of compliance-related problems. I’ve also shared my expertise with Alibaba Insights, Global Sources, Bureau Veritas InSpec, the Swedish National Electrical Safety Board, the South China Morning Post, Quartz Magazine and many others.
With Compliancegate.com, I wish to share what I’ve learned over the years with importers, exporters, manufacturers and Amazon sellers worldwide.
After completing my Ph.D. in Control Systems, during which I contributed to the development of a hot strip mill control systems for ArcelorMittal, one of the world’s leading steelmakers, I moved to China, where I worked two years as a Postdoc researcher at Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
Towards the end of my experience in Hangzhou, I developed an interest in manufacturing, partially because I was in China and I had for the first time the possibility to meet many people involved in this field, and partially because I’ve always been fascinated by complex systems.
And manufacturing is indeed a complex matter, especially when you take into account the need to comply with stringent regulations and standards like the ones developed by the European Union, the United States, and other markets.
When I started to work in manufacturing, I quickly realized that compliance had to become one of my key expertise, for a couple of reasons: many countries were focusing more and more on enforcing specific regulations, and companies like Amazon were as well starting to require compliance documentation from sellers.
More in general, I thought that it was just a matter of time before a framework aiming at providing safety for consumers would have become a central part of the supply chain industry.
Also thanks to my background in Electronics Engineering, which taught me to look at any problem with an analytics perspective, I was able to learn the main aspects of compliance and help clients to navigate the different aspects of it, including helping them to understand what kind of regulations apply to their products, or what kind of documentation is needed to fulfill the compliance requirements in their market.
With ComplianceGate.com, I wish to provide better and more in-depth resources that can help importers and manufacturers to understand compliance from a practical point of view.
Vincent Cheng (Content & Operations)
Vincent Cheng returned to Hong Kong after Civil Engineering studies at Purdue University in the U.S. He has been working in the engineering industry for the past few years. He is now working both on operations and inbound marketing for Asiaimportal (HK) Limited.
Chuiyan Mo (Content & Research)
Chuiyan Mo has an MA in Islamic Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has studied in Israel and Egypt and has previously worked as a marketing developer for Middle Eastern countries in an E-commerce company. She has also worked as a merchandiser in the garment industry where she gained expertise in material sourcing and production management. She currently works as a content editor for Compliancegate.com.
Compliancegate.com provides free information and resources, helping small to medium-sized businesses better understand product safety and compliance from a practical perspective.
By doing so, we hope to reduce the number of unsafe and harmful products sold worldwide.
Product safety is something that should concern all of us. Each year, thousands of people die as a direct result of unsafe electronics, toys, furniture, and other consumer products. Likewise, chemicals in textiles, plastics, and other materials may directly contribute to everything from cancers to reduced sperm counts.
Asiaimportal (HK) Limited
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