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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EXPORTING TO KUWAIT

About KUCAS

What is KUCAS?

KUCAS is the 'Kuwait Conformity Assurance Scheme'. The Scheme is a group of procedures carried out by PAI to verify the conformity of all Regulated Products to Kuwait's Technical Regulations on imported and domestic products alike in accordance with the regulations of this Scheme.

Who is responsible for implementing KUCAS?

The Public Authority for Industry for the State of Kuwait (PAI) has implemented the 'Kuwait Conformity Assurance Scheme' (KUCAS) as of 17 June 2006.

Who are the Certificate/Inspection Bodies and what is their role?

PAI has currently approved Intertek International Limited as a Certification/Inspection Body (CIB). The CIB works in partnership with PAI for the issuance of Technical Evaluation Reports (TER) and Technical Inspection Reports (TIR).

What is the scope of the KUCAS?

KUCAS is applicable to both domestically manufactured and imported Regulated Products.

Regulated Products Under KUCAS

Where can I find the list of Regulated Product?

Click here for the list of Regulated Products.

Which Regulated Products qualify for exemption from KUCAS?

The following 'Regulated Products' are exempted from KUCAS conformity procedures:- Products holding 'Kuwait Quality Mark'.- New motor vehicles holding 'GCC Conformity Certificates'.- Products imported on a temporary basis (e.g. for display purposes)- Products forming contents of large industrial or government projects.

Occasional/One-time Exporters

How can occasional or one-time exporters have their regulated products certified by CIBs?

Occasional or one-time exporters can have their regulated products certified by submitting a 'self-declaration' specifying the standards/requirements that the products are in conformity with the relevant Kuwait approved product standards and substantiating the declaration with 'test reports'. The test reports should be issued by a laboratory, which is accredited for conducting those tests by an authorized accreditation body in the exporting country (e.g. UKAS in the UK) and should indicate that the product was tested to the complete requirements of the relevant standard. In addition the consignment must successfully complete the Technical Inspection.

Can Exporters of one-time shipments apply for the TIR without going through the TER process by submitting laboratory test reports?

Exporters of one-time shipments to Kuwait need not apply for the TER but can apply directly for the TIR. At the time of submitting the TIR application, Exporters should submit valid laboratory test reports. On successful evaluation of the test reports and Technical Inspection of the shipment the KUCAS Country Office will issue a TIR to the Exporter.

Frequent/Regular Exporters

How can Frequent Exporters of the same type/model of regulated products have their products certified by CIB?

Frequent Exporters of the same type/model of the regulated product/s can avoid the need for 'complete testing' of the product every time it is exported by applying to the CIB for a TER.

Technical Evaluation Report (TER)

What is a TER and who issues it?

A TER is the 'Technical Evaluation Report'. The TER is issued by an approved Certification/Inspection Body (CIB) on the basis of successful type testing or test report evaluation or in some cases transfer of existing Registrations/Licences of Regulated Products.

Who is eligible to apply for the TER?

Anyone can apply for and obtain the TER as long as they submit the required documentary evidence and pay the fees.

What is the validity period of a TER?

The TER validity period is the same as the validity period of the test report, i.e. 3 years for CB reports and 2 years for non-CB reports issued for electrical products. Test reports issued for all other products have a validity of 2 years from the date of issue.

Where the product has been granted an internationally recognized Quality Mark, the TER is valid for the same period deemed valid by the Certification Body that has granted the Quality Mark.

Expired CB reports submitted with a fresh test report covering the CT tests as per the CVG will have a validity of 2 years in the TER.

What are the parameters to be considered while issuing the TER?

The TER is always issued on the basis of per exporter per brand. Accordingly an exporter should be issued one TER for each brand. For example an application having:

  • many brands with one or more product categories
    Brands - Samsung, Hitachi, Daewoo and Panasonic
    Categories - II-01, II-02, II-09, II-12, II-20
    One TER will be issued for each brand covering all applicable categories
  • One brand with one or more product categories
    Brand - Sony
    Categories - II-02, II-03, II-21
    One TER will be issued for SONY covering all categories

Are test reports older than 3 years acceptable for application of the TER?

Test reports that are older than 3 years will need to be reviewed by the KUCAS CO as follows:

If the manufacturer does not have a current quality mark, the CB report can be updated by submitting a recent test report that only covers the 'Essential Requirements' for the product as listed in the relevant CVG in accordance with the latest version of the applicable IEC standard.

For a manufacturer who has a current quality mark issued by an internationally recognized Certification Body that is auditing the manufacturer periodically, if the applicable IEC standard has not been updated during the period up to one year from date of application of the TER, then it can be assumed that the Body is satisfied that the product is still current provided the testing covers the Kuwaiti National Deviation.

If the standard edition/year is still current as per the standards website, then the report can be accepted.

If the standard edition/year has been revised with a new edition/amendment and the revision is found to require additional testing of the product, then additional testing must be carried out. In the meantime the TER can be issued for a period of 1 year.

CB Test Reports older than 3 years can be accepted even if the referenced standard version has been changed provided that the exporter submits a declaration that the technical specification of the product has not changed. In such cases the validity of the relevant models in the TER will be extended for another 3 years after the laboratory which issued the CB report revalidates it.

Can different exporters apply for the TER on the basis of the same test reports?

The TER is issued on the basis of the test reports regardless of who the original applicant is. Therefore different Exporters can apply for the TER on the basis of the same test reports.

Can an exporter use a TER issued to a manufacturer - is any authorization required in this regard?

If a manufacturer pays for and obtains the TER and an exporter submits the same TER we can accept it on the basis of a Letter of Authorization from the manufacturer.

Can a TER be issued to an exporter after the goods have been shipped to Kuwait?

The TER and TIR can be issued after the goods have been shipped to Kuwait provided the exporter is licensed and inspection of the shipment is not invoked. The TER/TIR will be issued based on the licence.

Can one TER list products having more than one Country of Origin (COO)?

Products having more than one COO can be stated in a single TER.

Are test reports issued by an in-house laboratory accredited to ISO 17025 accepted for issue of the TER?

The main criteria for acceptance of test reports is that the laboratory issuing the report should be accredited to ISO 17025. Therefore in-house reports from an ISO 17025 laboratory are acceptable for issue of the TER.

What is the procedure to be applied in the TER for listing products having multiple brand names?

The TER is always issued on the basis of per exporter per brand. Therefore an exporter shipping multiple brands of the same product will need to submit a Product Identity Declaration (PID) Form as documentary evidence of the same. But as per KUCAS procedures, the exporter will be issued a fresh TER and the applicable fees for the same will be applied.

Technical Inspection Report (TIR)

What are the documents required when applying for the TIR?

The following documents are required when applying for the TIR. Additional information on this is also available in the Guidelines.

  • Request for TIR (RTIR)
  • Proforma invoice
  • Valid SfR/Licence (for existing registerred/licenced exporters)
  • Valid TER

How does the inspections process work?

Exporter would need to undergo inspection in the country of export by the same CIB who had issued the TER. Inspection and testing (based on risk assessment and type of product) would be conducted prior to shipment by the relevant CIB.

What is the risk assessment system?

The risk assessment system is a model which is used to determine the frequency of inspection and testing for consignments. This system considers various aspects of the product such as its type, manufacturing process, country of manufacturer, brand value, previous compliance history, etc. This system is also similar to the selectivity procedure which is currently in place for other certification programmes.

The risk assessment system also considers manufacturers who can provide evidence of a quality control system (ISO 9001, ISO 16949, etc. or their equivalent) within their facilities. Such manufacturers would be subject to a lower rate of consignment intervention.

What happens if Regulated Product consignments arrive at Kuwait ports without a TIR?

Products will be subjected to inspection and testing by the KUCAS Conformity Unit which may delay the release of shipments from Customs or, in some cases, may result in the re-export of the product if test/inspection results are not satisfactory.

Can Intertek arrange for a Destination Inspection for shipments that have valid TERs (issued by Intertek) but have missed obtaining TIRs in the country of export?

It is always recommended that the Exporter obtain the TIR in the country of export. In those cases where the Exporter has missed obtaining the TIR in the country of export Intertek can arrange to carry out a Destination Inspection in Kuwait. The Importer should contact the Intertek office upon arrival of the shipment in Kuwait and provide the Intertek office in Kuwait with a copy of the related TER.

However this process has its own disadvantages. First the Importer would need to obtain a Temporary Clearance from the KUCAS Conformity Unit. After obtaining the Temporary Clearance the Importer will have to transfer the shipment to their warehouse and schedule a Technical Inspection of the shipment by the KUCAS Conformity Unit. Considering the typical delays associated with Government departments this process might take several days and demurrage charges may be imposed.

Is it required for the Importer to submit the TIR to PAI for Customs clearance given that the data has been transferred to PAI by Intertek?

Importers are required to submit the TIR to the KUCAS Conformity Unit who would then be able to verify the validity of both TIR and TER through their database which is constantly updated with the data transferred by Intertek.

What is the procedure to be followed for exporters who have a valid TER but have shipped the consignment without the TIR?

In situations where an exporter who has a valid TER ships a consignment to Kuwait without a TIR, the importer will need to contact the Intertek office in Kuwait and provide a copy of the TER once the consignment arrives at the port.

Fees

What is the fee structure for KUCAS?

For a lists of applicable fees please contact your local KUCAS Country Office.

Miscellaneous

What is a Re-Export Order?

If the product fails the laboratory test, the product is considered as non-conforming and a 'Re-Export Order' is issued. The Importer and Customs are notified so that the necessary action can be taken. In such cases the Importer is obliged to submit evidence that the relevant consignment has been re-exported in full within 2 weeks of the date of the Order.

Is compliance to standards other than IEC acceptable for electrical products?

Considering that the KUCAS programme now includes other Certification and Inspection Bodies (CIBs) it has been decided that compliance to other standards equivalent to IEC standards such as BS EN standards etc can be accepted regardless of the IEC version. The point to note here is that the BS EN standard should still be current.

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