QIMA Group Terms and Conditions

View QIMA Germany Terms and Conditions

Last updated January 27, 2023.


1. General

2. Provision of Services

3. QIMA's Obligations and Undertakings

4. Client's Obligations and Undertakings

5. Laboratory Testing QIMA Decision Rule

6. Invoicing, Fees and Payment

7. Liability and Indemnification

8. Termination of Services

9. Privacy and Data Protection

10. Intellectual Property Rights

11. Miscellaneous

12. Applicable and Governing Law, Jurisdiction and Settlement of Dispute

13. Language

14. Statement of Independence, impartiality, confidentiality and integrity

15. QIMA Certification

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1. General

1.1 Unless otherwise specifically agreed in writing by QIMA Limited or any of its affiliates (hereinafter called "QIMA"), all services provided by QIMA Limited are governed by the following general conditions of service, which prevail any purchase terms and conditions. These conditions include and hereby incorporate by reference the Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy, as such agreement may be in effect and modified by us from time to time (hereinafter these general conditions of services, along with the mentioned incorporated documents, will collectively referred to as the “Terms of Services”). We reserve the right to change these Terms of Services at any time, such changes shall be binding once posted on the website www.qima.com in this section. We therefore recommend you access this section regularly in order to check the most recent and updated version of the Terms of Services. You can check the “effective date” posted at the top to see when the Terms of Services were last updated.

1.2 Services carried out by QIMA, on behalf of an entity or individual from whom the instructions to act have originated (hereinafter called the "Client") will be carried out by using techniques and processes that permit an independent, impartial and objective approach. The end result of the Service will consist in a certificate or document (hereinafter called the "Report") communicating the collection of information QIMA has been requested to supply and will be delivered as an online report, fax or a written document.

1.3 No other party than the Client shall be entitled to give instructions to QIMA, particularly on the scope of inspection or delivery of Report, unless so authorised by the Client.

2. Provision of Services

2.1 QIMA in the capacity of an independent third party, supplies information in the form of ascertainment or recommendations for the special purpose of contributing to the prevention of the risks to which the beneficiaries of its services are exposed, and of helping them assure the quality of their products. QIMA's services (hereinafter singularly and collectively referred to as the "Services") consist of work performed by QIMA, including but not limited to:

  • audit of factories, manufacturing and processing sites;

  • quality inspections of products;

  • container loading inspections;

  • collection of samples in factories and manufacturing sites;

  • laboratory testing of product samples;

  • quality assurance and compliance services ;

  • certification of products or processes

3. QIMA's Obligations and Undertakings

3.1 QIMA expressly reserves the right to act at its own discretion in accepting or declining a request for Services, and cannot be compelled to accept or be held liable for declining a request for Services or products:

  • Falling out of its scope of activity or specialization;

  • Presenting geographical accessibility problems, such as Services to be rendered or products to be found in restricted or highly remote areas;

  • Requiring QIMA to obtain special permissions to operate such as governmental permissions.

3.2 QIMA undertakes to supply the Services it has accepted to carry out in a professional and timely manner, in accordance with proper professional practice and in compliance with:

  • The Client's special instructions when ordering the Services and as confirmed by QIMA - the terms of reference should be duly signed by the Client and QIMA, and in the absence of such instructions:

  • Any relevant professional standard, trade custom, usage or practice;

  • Such methods as QIMA shall consider appropriate on technical, operational and/or financial grounds.

3.3 QIMA shall exercise due care and skill in the selection and assignment of its personnel.

4. Client's Obligations and Undertakings

4.1 To take all reasonable steps to assure QIMA has access to the site and materials on which Services will be based;

4.2 To provide QIMA with all information and samples, as well as the documents necessary to complete requested Services, in a timely manner (and in any event not later than 48 hours prior to the desired intervention), except for generally available documents such as codes and standards, either directly or through suppliers or agents of the Client;

4.3 To insure that adequate instructions and notice are given to QIMA in due time to facilitate proper performance for the Services requested;

4.4 To advise QIMA of the date on which the Services are to commence, or to be resumed, and also of essential dates affecting the item(s) for which Services are being rendered;

4.5 Generally to render all reasonable assistance to QIMA in providing necessary instructions, information, documents, safety and security information in connection with the working conditions, required equipment and access (as the case may be).

4.6 Documents reflecting engagements between the Client and third parties or third parties' documents - if received by QIMA - are considered to be for information only and do not extend or restrict the scope of the Services or obligations accepted by QIMA.

5. Laboratory Testing QIMA Decision Rule

When a statement of conformity to a specification or a standard is required, the decision rule selected is to be communicated to, and agreed with, the customer. If a statement of conformity is requested, unless it is inherent in the requested specification or standard, the QIMA Decision Rule will be applied.

6. Invoicing, Fees and Payment

6.1 Payment

Payment is expected online upon booking prior to the performance of the Services. Should payment occur after the performance of the Services (or more than 24 hours after booking for Testing), an extra 5% charge will be added to the order pricing.

Invoices will be issued upon performance of the services and sent following a scheduled agreed between QIMA and the Client.

QIMA offers three payment solutions, accepting both online and offline payments:

  • Online payments: QIMA accepts payments via online service providers Adyen, Paypal and Global Payments. Payments settled via these third party payment processing services are subject to their terms and conditions and payment processing fees.

You may find these terms and conditions on their respective websites at www.adyen.com, www.paypal.com and www.globalpaymentsinc.com.

  • Offline payments: Invoices can be settled offline by transfer (T/T) for an extra +5% handling fee. Invoices are payable immediately upon receipt, each party bearing their own bank charges (including intermediary bank charges if client's bank doesn't process the transfer themselves). Late payment will incur an interest charge at 1.5% per month, or fraction thereof.

6.2 Cancellation charges: for inspections we accept cancellation until 4 pm (China Time) the day before the projected Inspection date. After this limit, Services scheduled will be charged in full, even if the Inspection cannot happen on the projected day (“Missed Inspection”).

In the event of a “Missed Inspection” caused by the supplier not being able to make the goods available to be inspected by QIMA on the projected day, QIMA advises its clients to re-charge the Inspection cost to their supplier.

In the case of an Order paid online and cancelled, QIMA will credit the buyer's Credit Card account using Paypal Refund solution.

For Laboratory Testing (LT) orders, cancellation is not possible once the Testing has been launched by the Laboratory.

6.3 In the event that QIMA is being prevented from performing or completing in full requested Services, for any reason beyond its control, such as but not limited to, Force Majeure, wrong information given by Client or Factory (e.g. goods not ready for Inspection despite information given by Factory,...), the Client agrees to:

  • 7.3.1 Reimburse any expenditure, and out of pocket expenses made or incurred in relation to these Services;

  • 7.3.2 Pay proportion of fees due for Services actually rendered and to release QIMA from all responsibility for partial or non-performance of the Services.

6.4 Client provided inspection sample(s): If an inspection sample is provided by the Client and shipped to an QIMA office, and then must be re-forwarded by QIMA to the Client's factory, and the shipping charge exceeds $10 USD, then the shipping fee will be automatically added to the final invoice amount.

6.5 For Laboratory Testing (LT) orders:

6.5.1 Should the quotation given online upon Order booking vary once the Product Samples are received and checked by QIMA, it is agreed that: - if the Test price increase is less than 25% or US$ 100, QIMA will inform the Client and launch the Test immediately for quicker processing - if the Test price increase is more than 25% and US$100, QIMA will seek Client's confirmation before launching the Test

6.5.2 The minimum charge for any Lab Test order is US$88 for standard delivery and US$108 for express.

6.6 For Inspection and Audit orders: "Man-day" prices communicated by QIMA are valid for the on-site execution of the service on the scheduled day(s). Additional services to be rendered, either before or after the actual service, such as but not limited to audit desktop reviews, consulting services, training, workshops, etc may not be included in the man-day price and will be quoted separately.

6.7 Taxes

All Orders shall be paid free and clear of all deductions and withholdings for taxes, duties, levies or other charges imposed by federal, state, regional or other governmental authorities in the country of registration of the Client and the country of Client’s site or under any applicable treaty for the avoidance of double taxation except as required by law. If any deduction or withholding is required by law, Client shall on the due date for the payment pay QIMA such additional amounts as shall, after the making of the deduction or withholding, result in the payment to QIMA of the net Order price.

6.8 Fees Revision

QIMA services fees may be adjusted at any time. To that effect, QIMA shall serve to the CLIENT a notice, that shall present the new prices, as well as the effective date by which the new prices will be applicable.

7. Liability and Indemnification

7.1 Limitation of Liability

7.1.1 QIMA is neither an insurer nor a guarantor and disclaims such capacity. Clients seeking a guarantee against loss or damage should obtain appropriate insurance.

7.1.2 Subject to the Client's instructions as accepted by QIMA (as specified in the terms of reference), QIMA will issue the Report relating to the facts as recorded by it within the limits of the instructions received and on the basis of the documents and information provided by the Client (refer to #4 above), but QIMA is under no obligation to report upon any facts or circumstances which are outside the specific scope of its assignment.

7.1.3 QIMA advice is given only in relation to documents and information provided by the Client, and QIMA cannot be held liable if it has received incomplete or erroneous information.

7.1.4 In the event of false information being given to QIMA by the Client, the factory, as well as Client’s representatives or employees, QIMA accepts no liability.

7.1.5 QIMA undertakes to use its best efforts and to exercise due care and skill in the performance of its Services, and accepts liability only in case of gross negligence and willful misconduct proven by the Client.

7.1.6 QIMA does not repack goods following an inspection; this should be performed by the supplier. Should the client request QIMA repackage the goods, QIMA is not liable for any possible damages or losses incurred related to the repacking process.

7.1.7 Structural Audits services: subject to a building structural audit order being placed by the Client, QIMA will conduct a visual audit of the property’s appearance and will prepare a descriptive report. QIMA shall take no responsibility in the case of damage or loss of assets, injury or death arising from problems with the property construction, the materials or with the equipment and how it is operated.

7.2 Indemnification

7.2.1 In the event of QIMA being held liable in respect to any claim of loss, damage or expense of whatsoever nature and however arising, its liability to the Client shall in no circumstances exceed five times the total aggregate sum of fees paid for the specific single service for which a claim is made. For Inspection services specifically, QIMA’s liability shall in no circumstances exceed five times the total aggregate sum of feed paid for the specific inspection for which a claim is made if no approved reference sample was provided by the Client, and ten times if an approved reference sample was provided and available for the inspector at the factory on the day of inspection, or an approved QIMA office two days prior to the scheduled inspection date subject to the inspection having been performed to an AQL minimum general inspection level II per product reference. See our AQL chart for details.

7.2.2 In addition, in case of Services of pre-shipment inspections:

  • Where less than 100% of the production is complete, our responsibility will only extend to those items completed at the time of inspection;

  • The Report does not constitute evidence of shipment.

7.2.3 The Client shall guarantee and indemnify QIMA and its servants, agents or subcontractors against all claims made by third parties for loss, damage or expense of nature arising, relating to the performance or non-performance of any Services, to the extent that the total sum of such claims exceed the limitation of liability mentioned in Article 6.2.1.

7.3 In the event of any claim, notice must be given to QIMA headquarters (QIMA Limited located at 5/F,Dah Sing Life Building,99-105 Des Voeux Road Central HK. Tel.(852) 3165 8838 - Fax. (852) 2774 2053) within seven days following discovery of the facts, and no later than 1 (one) month from the completion of the QIMA Services.

8. Termination of Services

QIMA shall be entitled to automatically either terminate and/or suspend provision of Services in the event that:

8.1 The Client commits any material breach of its obligations under these terms and conditions and/or the terms of reference and (if such breach shall be capable of remedy) fails to make good such breach within ten (10) days of receipt of notice served by the Non-Defaulting Party (QIMA) requiring it so to do. Material breaches include, without limitation any wilful and deliberate breach by the Client of its obligations under clause 4 hereabove;

8.2 The Client is insolvent or unable to pay its debts, in suspension of payments, or convenes a meeting of or compounds with its creditors or has a receiving order made against it or (other than for the purposes of bona fide amalgamation or reconstruction) has an order made or a resolution passed for its winding up or for the appointment of an administrator to manage its affairs, business and property or has a receiver or administrative receiver appointed over any of its assets or undertaking or if QIMA takes or suffers any similar or analogous action in consequence of debt.

9. Privacy and Data Protection

9.1 In performing the Services, QIMA collects, uses and protects personal data according to its Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy, to be deemed as incorporated in these Terms of Services by reference.

9.2 QIMA shall be at liberty to disclose the order-related documents and/or files anytime to any third-party accreditation and/or recognition bodies for audit or other related purposes unless disagreed with by the Client in writing at the time of them submitting the applications. No liabilities whatsoever shall attach to QIMA's act of disclosure.

9.3 QIMA will be responsible for the management of all confidential information of Client obtained or created during the performance of services:

  • QIMA will inform the Client in advance, of the information it intends to place in the public domain. Except for information that the Client makes publicly available, or when agreed between QIMA and the Client (e.g. for the purpose of responding to complaints, or situations set off in Clause 8.2 ), all other information is considered proprietary information and shall be regarded as confidential.

  • When QIMA is required by law or authorized by contractual arrangements to release confidential information, the Client or individual concerned will, unless prohibited by law, be notified of the information provided.

  • Information about the Client obtained from sources other than the Client (e.g. complainant, regulators) shall be confidential between the Client and QIMA. The provider (source) of this information will be confidential to QIMA and will not be shared with the Client, unless agreed by the source.

  • Personnel, including any committee members, contractors, personnel of external bodies, or individuals acting on QIMA's behalf, will keep confidential all information obtained or created during the performance of laboratory activities, except as required by law.

10. Intellectual Property Rights

10.1 QIMA is and will remain the owner of all possible intellectual property rights (including but not limited to: patents, patent applications, utility models, copyrights, trademarks, and any other statutory protection of a similar kind, as well as know-how and trade secrets, whether or not such rights are registered or capable of registration) as well database producer rights relating in general to the provision of the Services, in particular with regard to the techniques and processes it uses to gather the information, the way to present the information, certificates or other documents and the raw information collected during the course of the Services. QIMA will be free to host, store and publish all its intellectual property rights and all information collected and to use it for example to offer new kinds of services or to compile data.

10.2 Clause 9.1. here above is stipulated without prejudice of the confidential nature of the Report(s) provided to the Client and subject to payment of the Services price in full, the rights granted to the Client to use, reproduce and represent the Report(s) in the normal course of its business and for personal use, worldwide and for the full duration of all intellectual property rights.

11. Miscellaneous

11.1 The Report will reflect findings of the Services at the time and place of Services. This Report does not discharge sellers and suppliers from their legal and/or commercial obligations towards the Client.

11.2 These Terms of Services embodies the entire understanding between the parties with respect to the subject matter thereof.

11.3 In the event that any provision of the matter thereof becomes invalid, the remainder shall not be affected and the parties shall attempt through negotiations in good faith to replace these with provisions corresponding as closely as possible to the original intention.

11.4 No failure, delay or forbearance by a party to require performance of, exercise or enforce any right or remedy under the Terms of Services shall be deemed or construed in any manner as a waiver of the right or remedy or of any other rights or remedies nor shall such failure, delay or forbearance operate as a bar to the exercise or enforcement of the right or remedy at any time of times thereafter, and

11.5 A waiver of any right or remedy conferred by the Terms of Services shall only be effective if it is given in writing and expressly refers to the relevant right or remedy.

12. Applicable and Governing Law, Jurisdiction and Settlement of Dispute

12.1 Unless otherwise provided, these terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Hong Kong Law.

12.2 All disputes or differences of any kind whatsoever between the parties in connection with or arising out of the services shall be submitted to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Hong Kong.

13. Language

These terms and conditions have been drafted in English. In case of discrepancy, the English version shall be controlling for all purposes.

14. Statement of Independence, impartiality, confidentiality and integrity

In order to provide high-quality compliance service, QIMA hereby make the statement of independence, impartiality, confidentiality and integrity, please refer to this link.

15. QIMA Certification

Additional Terms are terms of services that are specifically applicable to all certification services rendered by QIMA and are in addition of QIMA General Terms and Conditions. In case of any discrepancies between QIMA General Terms and Conditions and these Additional Terms, the later Additional Terms shall prevail.

Such Additional Terms define the respective responsibilities of QIMA and any applicant for certification. All applicants agree and undertake to abide by these Additional Terms, and without such agreement and undertaking, QIMA will not provide the certification services nor release any certification documentation.

With respect to the QIMA Impartiality Policy, no certification, from the QIMA certification unit, would be simpler, easier, faster, or less expensive if other QIMA service(s) were used.