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How to prove the products failed agreed standard in China courts?

Recently we often get inquiries from clients that the ordered goods imported from China (especially masks during this special period) . They found the quality problem of goods when they received goods. Under such circumstances, plaintiff must prove that the product is unqualified if they want to sue the other party. So, what evidence should be submitted to the court to prove the bad quality of products?

Chinese courts usually recognize whether the goods meet the quality standards on the basis of two circumstances:

Under normal circumstances, the contract or invoice may stipulate a specific quality standard of the goods. In this case, the key evidence for the court to recognize whether the quality of the goods meets the agreed standard is the inspection report.

In order to make the report of inspection acceptable to the court, we have the following recommendations:

a. Select authoritative inspection institutions (eg SGS);

b. Send a letter inviting the other party to witness the inspection process (even if the other party refuse or not reply);

c. Notarize the inspection process-- prove that the inspected goods are the goods provided by the other party; and

d. Take photos and record the whole sampling process.

Another situation is no specific and clear requirement of the goods’ quality in the contract and invoice, so the client need to prove the quality can not meet the demand of contract or invoice to the court. Under such circumstance, we have the following recommendations:

a. Find a notary public office and invited notaries to the factory/company, let them test the quality of goods by random sampling. Please mention notaries to photograph and record videos during the whole testing procedure. Let the notary office issue a Notarization certificate to prove goods are unqualified to meet the contract’s demand;

b. Collect bad comments/complaints about the bad quality of products from customers; and

c. Collect communication or chat record or history mentioning the products specification (like Brand Label, Style Number, Sample Name, and Size&Color of the products) or pictures of the products after the execution of PI (during the period of production, or before the time of delivery, or at the time when the products were received and you double-confirmed with the opposing party).

For more professional information and suggestions about the recognization of defective products, please feel free to contact our experienced Chinese lawyers to have a consultation.

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Larry Zhou, Partner

Landing Law Offices China

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