API Link™: API’s Online Platform New Features


API Link™: API’s Online Platform New Features

API Link™, API’s new online platform, introduces a few additional features this month. In addition to the functions already revealed such as a 24/7 overview of ongoing and finished orders and order tracking with key milestones, customers can now benefit from:  

  • Final decision on orders in 1 click: release or reject your orders faster than ever based on relevant data
  • Report summary: at-a-glance overview of all your reports
  • Online reports: easily accessible reports shared with different parties in 1 click and archived in a single platform
  • Confirmation of quotations online

Customers, suppliers and factories can benefit from increased visibility over processes and order status through API Link™ user-friendly dashboards.

Interested in learning more about our platform?


Sustainability webinar series

Sustainability is the key to the future and has become a priority topic for many household goods and toy companies. To help you deepen your knowledge and continue building a more sustainable supply chain, API is launching some additional sustainability webinars:

Environmental footprint

The analysis of the impacts a product has in terms of environmental footprint allows for the identification of more ‘planet-friendly’ practices, processes and materials.

Get an overview of the different criteria required to calculate a product footprint, including:

  • Introduction to environmental footprints
  • Concepts and standards of life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Snapshot of various footprints.

July 8, 2021
10am–10:45am CET / 4pm–4:45pm HKT

Previous webinars

Chemical management for hardgoods


Brands, retailers, and suppliers are increasingly looking to improve their chemical management. The question remains: How do you assess the chemical risk and enhance the chemical performance of your supply chain?

 Learn strategic insights for chemical management improvement, including:

  • An overview of chemical management in the supply chain
  • Key elements of chemical management
  • Restricted substances and manufacturing restricted substances management in the supply chain
  • Traceability of chemicals.

June 24, 2021
10am–10:45am CET / 4pm–4:45pm HKT


API Sustainability webinar on carbon footprint

Join our upcoming webinar: ‘Carbon footprint in the household goods and toys industries.’ A growing number of household goods and toy companies are concerned about the impacts of their activities on climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and carbon footprint have become topical issues among hardgoods brands. A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, a process, a person, or a product. In this webinar, we will help companies better understand the types of carbon footprints and actions that can be taken to measure and reduce this impact.


  1. Introduction to carbon footprint in the hardgoods sector
  2. Types of carbon footprint: organization footprint vs. product carbon footprint
  3. Methodology of carbon footprint
  4. Case studies
Speaker: Dr. Kannan Muthu – Head of Sustainability at API

Date: May 27, 2021 Time: 10:00am – 10:45am CET 4:00pm – 4:45pm HKT A replay will be available on demand.

Stay tuned for more webinars coming soon!

API shared best practices on the ground at ICPHSO


API participated as a speaker at the ICPHSO (International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization) 2021 Annual Virtual Meeting and Symposium last month. We had the opportunity to share some of the best practices by household goods and toy brands to mitigate risks during COVID-19.

Adjusting to the new normal and mitigating safety and quality risks has seen an evolvement in best practices among leading household goods and toy brands and retailers. Although contingency plans and strategies differ across companies, some have been repeatedly put into practice by many. We have identified the top 10 practices seen on the ground to ensure business continuity and ongoing safety and quality in the new normal, including:

  1. Tackling issues upstream: Sharpen your focus on the earlier stages of development and get support from third-party technical teams onsite when your own teams can’t travel.
  2. Relying on local experts: Bringing partners on board who can act and adapt onsite to minimize risk is pivotal when your own teams can’t be there.
  3. Using tech tools to increase your supply chain visibility: Capture and leverage the right data to follow your operations remotely and capitalize on similar advantages. Maximize your data through dedicated platforms that help capture, connect and analyze the intelligence, enabling faster, easier, and more informed decisions.

Interested in learning more about these and some of the other examples seen on the ground?


API’s new Integrity and Product Compliance Platform: I-TCF

Brands and retailers globally are obligated to ensure their products are compliant with market destination standards and regulations. However, many factors make ensuring compliance a tricky task, including stricter regulations and increasing picking stores by the local authorities, the need for improved traceability and records, and the large number of references requiring time and technical staff.

Defining the applicable scope across different product categories requires expertise, while gathering all the necessary documentation from various supply chain stakeholders is a time-consuming task. This administrative burden also brings risk and the need for technical review, as nearly one document in every three reviewed by our experts is found to be not compliant. In many instances, it isn’t easy to handle this internally due to issues such as:

  • Complexity with keeping records up to date
  • Multiplicity of suppliers with different maturity and contact persons (to stay competitive and ensure good pricing, brands tend to diversify).
  • Multiple documents and files requiring the right expertise to collect the right documents, need to know the regulation covering the product in order to ask for the right docs
  • No dedicated team for the task: Dull task for brand’s engineers, very administrative. But cannot be done by someone without technical knowledge.
  • Process too slow vs. rotation of collections too fast
  • Significant time required
  • No proper interface to coordinate document collection and review


Introducing API’s I-TCF platform

To alleviate this challenge, API has launched its new I-TCF platform. Leveraging our 15 years’ experience in this service and the valuable feedback from our clients we have designed a new user-friendly platform that supports our I-TCF solutions, enabling you to easily keep your eyes on what matters: the completed files, the ones under completion, and those that will expire soon.

The I-TCF, or Integrity and Technical Compliance File, is a digital ID of your product and its proven compliance with the latest applicable standards and regulations, including:

  • Applicable protocols
  • Document validation/rejection
  • Validity over time

The platform introduces a new way to manage documentation, proving compliance with increased visibility on products and status, such as:

  • Quality overview of your products
  • Document status and tracking
  • Alerts management
  • Regulatory watch

Suppliers can now benefit from the easy-to-use system by uploading the documents required to complete your I-TCF, receiving regular updates about your I-TCF status, as well as guidance from our experts on the next steps needed for any rejected documentation.

How API’s I-TCF platform can benefit your brand

  • Confidence in a correctly completed I-TCF
  • Fast reply to authorities – documents available in one click
  • Reduced time and costs, allowing internal teams to focus on core added-value missions:
    API’s team of experts complementing your teams on specific product categories
  • Executing document collection and verification

Interested in learning more about API’s I-TCF platform?


API shares industry expertise at the ICPHSO 2021

API will address the ‘new normal’ and share technical insights and expertise at the ICPHSO (International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization) 2021 Annual Virtual Meeting and Symposium.

During a plenary session on ‘Practical Strategies for Business Continuity, Ongoing Product Safety, and Increased Visibility,’ Jennifer Miller, the senior director of business development, North America, for SgT (API’s sister company), will discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on supply chains and how companies should adapt to ensure business continuity and ongoing safety and quality through a ‘boots on the ground’, preventative approach.

About the Session

Plenary 3: “Practical Strategies for Business Continuity, Ongoing Product Safety, and Increased Visibility”

Thursday February 25, from 8:15AM to 9:00AM ET

Ensuring supply chain continuity while managing risk and disruption has become a key priority globally. Practices that ran smoothly before COVID-19 must now be reassessed, with the need to evaluate vendors and suppliers more carefully and develop processes that protect resilience. Traditional onsite product controls have been challenged by ongoing travel restrictions, budget constraints, lack of transparency, and more, compelling businesses to adapt and find new ways to safeguard continuity.

Securing product safety and quality in this ‘new normal’ requires visibility over the entire supply chain to better understand its composition and processes for greater traceability. With the help of advanced technologies and adaptable tools, teams can also remotely monitor this improved transparency to ensure product safety and quality in an unprecedented era.

Interested in learning more about this or other topics?


API at Spielwarenmesse 2022, Nuremberg Toy Fair

We are pleased to announce our participation at the Spielwarenmesse® 2022 in Nuremberg on 2-6 February 2022.

Are you also attending the Toy Fair? Come and visit us at our booth B-07 in Hall 3A and discover API’s new solutions and best practices for Toys Quality Management. Book your appointment to talk to our team! 

Api Solutions For Toys: Leveraging Product and Manufacturing Expertise

At API, our product and manufacturing expertise – acquired daily, on the ground – allows us to identify and anticipate risks before they reach the production line. Our toy experts can guide and assess your teams from the design and prototype stages, helping you manage risks and make your products safer. We work closely with toy committees, keeping up to date with changes in standards and regulations and receiving the latest news on current areas of concern and hot industry topics.

Some of our expert solutions for toys along the entire supply chain include:

  • Development assistance
  • Compliance testing
  • Fit-for-play testing
  • Documentary validation: Integrity and Technical Compliance File
  • Inspections
  • Factory assessments (technical, CSR, environmental audits)
  • Sustainability solutions
  • Technical support
  • In Production Process Assessment
  • Dedicated technician

Leaving China? Tips on a smooth sourcing transition

A spate of recent incidents has seen global supply chains shifting away from China, including Covid-19 pressures, geopolitical tensions, container scarcity, power breaks, and more. Reshoring, offshoring, and nearshoring were some of the most used terms in 2020 in numerous industries as companies seek alternatives to reduce their reliance on the world’s manufacturing superpower.

While many companies have traditionally turned to other sourcing countries in Asia, brands are increasingly looking for sourcing alternatives closer to home. For example, European brands are finding they can better control uncertainties and keep a closer eye on their supply chains by turning to sourcing opportunities in Eastern Europe and nearby countries such as Tunisia.

Market research shows some of the below as the main factors to shift sourcing / manufacturing out of China: 

Leaving China? Tips on a smooth sourcing transition Source: Supplychaindive.com, Apr 2021 - 'Supply chains do the math on reshoring's pros and cons'

Source: Supplychaindive.com, Apr 2021 – ‘Supply chains do the math on reshoring’s pros and cons’

The benefits of sourcing closer to home include the flexibility of being near to customers and the market, improved lead times, and greater stability in the availability of products and raw materials, shipment schedules, and other stock issues. However, changing sourcing locations brings its own set of challenges. 

Shifting to a new sourcing location means exchanging a well-known supply chain with a new pool of suppliers that can introduce complications. If many brands are relocating to a new sourcing location at once, driving up demand, the factories – despite their maturity – may not have the workforce or capabilities to meet these needs. Other issues may arise in different areas, including CSR concerns such as migrant worker, forced labor, home-based workers in substandard workshops, freedom of association, and more.

Taking some key things into account can ease the transition and reduce complications:

Tips for a smooth transition to sourcing close to home

  • Get to know your new suppliers: A technical audit will give you visibility over the supplier’s real capabilities, maturity, setup, management system, respect for social and environmental requirements, and more.
  • Ensure the supplier has the right processes in place: Your new supplier must have the workforce and capabilities to meet your brand’s quality standards. New hires need to be familiar with the production process and the products to avoid costly mistakes. It’s also important to have a well-trained quality control team that can manage product quality checks and identify these results for hazard and risk analysis for you.
  • Seek support from a qualified third party: To navigate the uncertainty of starting from scratch with a new supplier, relying on the support of a qualified third party can help facilitate this changeover and ensure the most critical points are addressed for a stable transition.


At API, our extensive expertise supports our customers in establishing new sourcing strategies near their destination countries, including:

Want to know more about how API can act as an extension of your team and support your new sourcing challenges and objectives?


API sponsored ICPHSO 2021 symposium

API sponsored one more year the ICPHSO International Symposium that took place online this year on October 27 and 28 bringing together some of the top international brands and retailers.

During these two day-conference brands such as Decathlon, Hasbro and Lego shared their views on the perspectives on the future of consumer product safety.

The ICPHSO Virtual International Symposium is a global symposium that includes participation from regulators, producers, retailers, test labs, consultants, law firms, academia, consumers, product safety experts, media and others on best product safety practices, emerging hazards and trends, product recalls and the design and sale of safe consumer products from inception through end of life and sustainability issues. More information about ICPHSO can be found on their website: https://icphso.org/


COVID-19: Global Summary of Operating Countries

Access our update of local operating status by country.  Please note that the overview will be updated if there is a change of status in any of the countries covered. 

API’s teams are following COVID-19 evolution and communicating with customers and their suppliers on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your Key Account Manager or Customer Service Representative if you have any questions. 


September 17, 2021

Global Overview_17.09.2021_API

August 5, 2021Global overview_Aug 05_2021

July 26, 2021



July 5, 2021


June 18, 2021

18.06.2021_global overview

June 3, 2021

GLobal status_03.06.2021


May 26, 2021

May 26_2021_Global overview

April 15, 2021

Global overview_Apr 15

February 24, 2021


February 1, 2021


January 27, 2020API_27.01.2021_Global overview

January 18, 2020


December 01, 2020

Local Operating Status_Dec 1-1

November 23, 2020

Global status per country_Nov 23

November 16, 2020

Nov 16_Global Status per Country

November 9, 2020

Local Operating Status_Nov 9_N


November 2, 2020

Nov 2_global overview


October 27, 2020

Global status per country_Oct 27

October 19, 2020

Global status per country_Oct 19


October 12, 2020

Oct 12_Global_API

October 5, 2020

October 5_Overview


September 28, 2020

Global Overview 28.09.2020


September 21, 2020

21 Sept_Global


September 14, 2020

Overview 14 Sept

September 7, 2020

Sept 7_Web_global

August 31, 2020



August 24, 2020

Aug 24_overview

August 17, 2020


August 10, 2020

Aug 10_Overview


August 3, 2020



July 27, 2020

July 27_R


July 20, 2020

Global Overview_July 20-1

July 13, 2020

13.07.2020_global overview

July 6, 2020

July 6

June 29, 2020


June 22, 2020



June 15, 2020



June 8, 2020

June 08_2020_API


See previous maps: 

June 1, 2020



May 25, 2020



May 18, 2020

18.05.2020_status per country

May 11, 2020

11.05.2020_Status per Country_API


May 4, 2020

May_4_2020_Countries Status

April 27, 2020

27.04.2020_Local Operating Status


April 21, 2020

21.04.2020_Countries Overview


April 15, 2020

Global status per country_April 15

April 6, 2020



March 30, 2020


For any question or enquiry, please contact your Key Account Manager or Customer Service Representative.