The OS stamp is familiar for it is seen on the packaging of various foods and commodities, such as milk and yoghurt.
The brands may vary but the stamp remains the same. What is QS? And what does QS certification mean?
QS is an acronym for “Quality Safety,” adopted as a stamp of approval in China for food quality and safety administration. The products carrying a QS mark are deemed as conforming to mandatory tests by competent institutions of the country. Usually the production license code numbers are also printed, and only the foodstuffs with QS can be sold in the market. Since 2005, China General Administration of Quality Testing and Inspection officially put tea products in the category of foodstuffs and implemented the market-entry licensing system from 2006. So far many tea enterprises have successively gained the QS certification, and still others are applying for the certification.
For a long time, quality control of the tea industry was difficult because of the scattered tea leaves plantations. As a result, it was difficult to segregate the conforming and nonconforming products, and pesticide residue and heavy metal content were above the minimum requirements for some tea varieties. Consequently, China’s tea export volume decreased. In recent years, such incidents as the “toxin content in Bi Luo Chun” in AnhuiProvince and dyed “Bi Luo Chun” in GuizhouProvince have had a negative impact. Therefore, quality and safety administration in the tea industry have become an important issue. Enforcement of QS certification ensures sale tea products in the tea market.