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Certificate of Analysis: What is its role in export trade?

Certificate of Analysis is a document that manufacturers produce to verify the product that they have manufactured is as per customer’s requirements. Here’s a complete guide on Certificate of Analysis and how it helps Indian exporters.
Certificate of analysis
Every customer who places an order has a set of requirements and expectations from the product they have ordered. With e-commerce, customers do not get a chance to experience the product and rather, place an order based on customer reviews, product specifications and brand. To maintain customer satisfaction, it is important to meet these quality standards. This is where Certificate of Analysis (COA) and similar licenses become necessary.

What is Certificate of Analysis?Amazon trivia

Certificate of Analysis (COA) is an important document that manufacturers and exporters produce to verify that a set of products have been manufactured as per their customers’ requirements. It is a document that states that a particular product was analytically tested as suggested with specified results that ensures quality and safety. COA helps businesses reduce returns, replacements, and customer complaints. In international trade, it is usually the result of an agreement between manufacturer or exporter and customer or importer.

COA is mostly used for a range of manufactured products like pharmaceuticals, food and consumables, chemicals, and more. Sellers and exporters require a COA from suppliers to ensure that the product remains safe for customers and the quality is as expected. This document helps increase confidence in the quality of the product being shipped, thus, making the audit process easy.

What elements does a Certificate of Analysis document have?

COA includes supplier information, materials information, transportation data, evidence of conformance, and signature data1:

Supplier Information

This information is generally found in the top section of the certificate and it contains the identification number and information about material supplier including name, address, and other contact information.

Materials Identification

This section contains lot numbers, product codes like GTIN, and related descriptions, and helps identify the material being certified by a particular COA. For instance, in case of a dairy product, names of the ingredients and the lot number need to be mentioned.

Transportation Data

Transportation-related content is also provided when creating Certificate of Analysis. This includes ‘ship to customer’ name and address, original purchase order, and bill of lading number. This content is provided to meet shipping requirements and help receiver or importer understand that the material has been authorized. With this information, the receiver also can check the shipment in their records, and confirm the chain of custody.

Evidence of Conformance

This section has the most important information of COA with details on tests conducted, respective results, customer-specific requests and regulatory requirements for that particular product.

Signature Data

The last section of the COA includes a signature, which means that the evidence presented was reviewed by a qualified and authorized product inspector.

What is Certificate of Analysis used for?

• COA documents are used to provide a guarantee that the products produced by the manufacturer or exporter match the expectations and standards of the customers.
• It is used for product inspection, and also serves as an identification document for the status of each product.
• It provides more detailed information than the product label.
• COA consists of information from material supplier to material user with details on identity, quality, and purity of that specific material.
• It enables customers to rely more on their suppliers as this document acts as an assurance that the quality of the manufactured products is not compromised.

Once you have obtained Certificate of Analysis and other required documents for your export business, you can sell international from the comfort of your home in India using e-commerce.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a Certificate of Analysis?
Without producing a COA, manufacturer or exporter could face both business and legal consequences. A Certificate of Analysis is required to ensure that the manufactured product has been analytically tested and meets the safety and quality specifications.
What is the difference between COA and COC?
COC, Certificate of Conformance, is a mandatory document, which is necessary for customs clearance of export products. On the other hand, COA is given by manufacturers to verify the product on its quality standards as per customers’ requirements.
Who provides or issues Certificate of Analysis?
COA is issued by the Certification authority appointed by the exporter or at the exporter’s own company. For example, if the exporter appoints the Quality Assurance Department as the Certification authority, the Certificate of Analysis will be issued by the latter.
Published on April 30, 2022.

Sources:
1. https://www.bcit.ca/files/appliedresearch/pdf/certificates_of_analysis_nov_08_nw.pdf
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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.

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