FIND YOUR SAMPLING SIZE
Look for your lot size and find your letter based on the General Inspection Level (level II is the commonest). You can also define your Special Inspection Levels (only used for specific checks and testing).
DEFINE YOUR ACCEPTABLE QUALITY LIMIT
Identify your sampling size based on the letter from the previous chart. Define your acceptable quality limits and find the maximum number of critical, major and minor defects. Generally, the limits used ore: critical- 0, major=- 2.5, minor=- 4.
Critical defects are the most serious defect category. Importers typically use a 0 tolerance policy for critical defects (AQL of 0.0). In other words, the entire order will fail inspection if inspectors find a single critical defect in the selected sample size.
The criteria for defining a critical defect are:
- Pose a safety hazard to the expected user
- Cause product recalls
- Brand damaging defects
Example critical defects:
- Broken needle in a garment
- Rusty items
- Exposed nails or sharp edges
Less serious than critical defects, major defects are usually accepted in limited quantities. Typically, importers will assign the AQL limit 2.5 to major defects,
The criteria for defining a Major defect are:
- Affects the performance or function of a product
- Affects product specifications
- Causes the end customer to not buy or return the product
Example major defects:
- Holes or tears on a fabric
- Out of tolerance dimensions for industrial components
- Uneven legs in an item of furniture
- Excess glue on a footwear item
Most importers use AQL of 4.0 for minor defects, this is the least serious defect category, however, it can still cause the rejection of your order if found in large quantity.
The criteria for defining a minor defect are:
- it doesn't affect the function or use of the product
- Barely noticeable at arm distance
- Would be unlikely to cause a return or make the product unsellable
Example minor defects:
- Untrimmed threads on a garment or plush toy
- Minor color shading
- Removable small dust
- Hidden dent mark