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 An inspection is an evaluation of conformity through close observation and deliberate judgment and, if necessary, some specific measurements and tests.  As the diversification of business activities is increasing, the scope of inspection has expanded to fields like materials, production processes, products, factory and service, as well as the examination of conformity to rules, standards, specifications and associated reports.  Therefore, the inspection items contain: quantity, quality, applicability and safety (including the conformity to safety requirements for factories or systems).  According to the examination purpose, they can be divided into three categories: compulsory inspection, voluntary inspection and notarial inspection; if the subject of the examination is a product, it is called commodity inspection.


 Our country's commodity inspection institution originates from the very early period after the establishment of the R.O.C. Government.  It was legislated in the "Administration Guidelines of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce", requiring the establishment of the commodity inspection bureau in every major port nationwide.  In 1929, the first commodity inspection bureau was established in Shanghai; in 1932, the government issued the "Commodity Inspection Act", managing affairs related to imported and exported commodities, such as inspections of toxic matter, adulteration and the determination of quality level.  After the retrocession of Taiwan in 1945, the inspection organizations for fertilizer, plants, cereals, tea and canned food, which were left from the Japanese colonial period, were merged and subordinated under the Department of Agriculture and Forestry of the Taiwan Provincial Administrative Official Public Ministry (reorganized as the Office of Agriculture and Forestry(O.A.F.) of Taiwan Province on December 20, 1949).  In 1959, in order to promote the nation’s economic development, the Taiwan Provincial Government was assigned to take over the inspection business of import-export commodities; therefore, it merged the Inspection Bureau of O.A.F. and the Industrial Test institute and Office of Construction, to establish the Taiwan Provincial Inspection Bureau.  During that period, the major part of the commodity inspections was animal and plant quarantine and export inspection of primary agricultural products such as fertilizer, tea, canned food, pesticides, fodder, sugar, bananas and white mushroom.  Along with the development of industry, the industrial output value gradually surpassed that of agriculture.  Therefore, in response to the industrial transformation trend, the government moved the commodity inspection business back to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).  In 1967, the "Taiwan Provincial Inspection Bureau" was reorganized as the "Bureau of Commodity Inspection (BCI), MOEA".  From the traditional inspection of agricultural products, its business gradually expanded to foods, fibers, textiles and products of chemical industry; furthermore, it also covered fields like machinery, electric appliances, electronic products, and electromagnetic compatibility.  In order to improve the quality of our exported products, the "Quality Control Act of Indigenously Manufactured Products" was implemented on November 19, 1969.  In 1989, the ISO 9000 family of international standards for quality management was introduced to Taiwan. In 1991, the "International-Standard Quality Assurance System Implementation Act" came into force, guiding the manufacturers, through the operation of the quality assurance system, to reach the required quality level and maintain their quality system during phases of design, production and service, consequently improving their competitiveness.  Thereafter, the long-performed "lot-by-lot inspection" practice was gradually replaced by the "registration of product certification" system since 2000, in order to promote our application for the membership of WTO.  In 2001, the "monitoring inspection" and "declaration of conformity" were both incorporated into the existing inspection system in order to be in line with the world.