An Insight into How We Test Our Products

As a multi category sourcing partner, we cover a wide variety of products, from children’s cosmetics through to food contact items. As such, it’s vital that we can deliver these products to our clients, knowing they are safe and legally compliant.

At Matrix we take product testing very seriously and have our own in-house Technical teams in the UK, China and Hong Kong Offices. We, as a technical team ensures that all our products comply with the relevant standards and legal requirements and are labelled accordingly.

The world of product compliance is complex and vast and the requirements are constantly being updated and it is the technical team’s responsibility to keep abreast of these changes and ensure our products comply.

We ensure that all our products;

  • Are consistently fit for their intended purposes
  • Are safe in their performances
  • Meet or exceed customer’s expectations
  • Repeatedly meet agreed standards

Appropriate tests are carried out in accordance with Statutory Regulations including Toy Safety, Cosmetics, Electricals and Electronics, Materials and Articles in Contact with Food to name but a few. Testing is not necessary on all products, particularly those not subject to Statutory Regulations. We therefore have to establish and eliminate the presence of likely hazards by carrying out physical and mechanical assessments and ensure that the raw materials used are safe.

In Europe testing is governed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union who issue directives on the safety of products. Directives can be amended and updated at any time so we have to keep abreast of these changes and ensure our products comply.

We send our products to third-party labs to carry out physical and chemical (toxicity) testing, EMC, Azo Dyes, Phthalates and Heavy Metals etc. This is usually done in the country of manufacture. Most of our product testing is undertaken in Hong Kong. As we have an office there, we can easily manage the testing process between the factories and test houses.

Typical costs for product testing start at US $50 for simple physical assessment of a toy to US $1000 for EMC on Electronic items. Products such as cosmetics and food contact items can have high testing costs due to the fact they come into direct contact with people, which carries a higher element of risk.

Product testing can take up to 10 working days, but it really depends what is being tested. Some cosmetics tests can take up to 3 months. It can take a long time to establish any faults during the life of a product- with cosmetics this would be to see if any bacteria grow from the formulation, or if it deteriorates over a length of time.