Sourcing from Vietnam: The New Free Trade Agreement

The 1st of August 2020 marked a new beginning for trade between the EU and Vietnam with a comprehensive trade agreement that came into effect and will open up trade between these two regions and make sourcing from Vietnam a lot easier. The trade agreement will vastly reduce the trade duties on 99% of all goods that are traded between the EU and the South-Eastern Asia region. This FTA (Free Trade Agreement) will usher in a new era of labor relations in the Vietnam region as the stipulations include a higher commitment to better labor rights and environmental standards. The enforcement of this new trade policy will result in far-reaching benefits for the Vietnamese industrial sector as well as the European consumer market as both regions are looking to recover from the economic and social effects of the current COVID pandemic.

Advantages of Sourcing from Vietnam

In the current economic situation around the world, the drive to recover and rebuild economies has never been stronger and therefore both parties are looking to take full advantage of the regulations put forth in the FTA. Looking at future trade sourcing companies that are looking to get involved in the EVFTA (European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement) several beneficial trade options will come to bear over the next 10 years. With 99% of all traded goods benefiting from the EVFTA, EU manufacturers can already enjoy No-Duties on machinery and chemicals as well as pharmaceutical products – implemented on 1 August 2020. Within 3 years, agricultural products like beef products, olive oil, and rice will have no duties attached to it, with dairy products and produce like fruits and vegetables to be duty-free inside of 5 years. By 2025 the trade between the EU and Vietnam will be virtually duty-free and that makes for a very lucrative opportunity for manufacturers and producers in the EU trade region. As the trade routes begin to open and produce begins become widely available these advantages in costing and availability will be the major advantage for the whole industrial and manufacturing sector.

Challenges of Sourcing Goods from Vietnam

Historically there have been several challenges when trading with Vietnam as they have not always had a good reputation for labor and working conditions. With the new FTA and renewed trade interest in this region, many of these conditions will be a thing of the past but there are still some issues that need to be addressed in the course of seeking new trade relationships with the Vietnamese producers and manufacturers. Early adopters should also be aware of the regulation that governs that “duty-free” nature of materials and products that are sourced from the region. 2 very clear rules will guide sourcing agents and EU buyers alike regarding the goods and products:

  1. Items that are 100% sourced and manufactured in Vietnam from local parts and material will form part of the agreement.
  2. Items that are sufficiently worked or machined in Vietnam will also be included in the EVFTA

Although these seem like minor challenges, careful attention should be given to the stipulations as there will be significant penalties if your sourced goods turn out to be unclassified within the trade agreement. This will result in significant losses if not closure. This is why you should be extremely mindful of the quality rating of your sourced goods so that you can prevent any negative consequences.

Why Quality Control is Vital when Sourcing from Vietnam

Sourcing from Vietnam will at least for the foreseeable future has significant quality control aspects to it and this could be the deciding factor in your ongoing trade in the region. With the wide range of products that the region produces and the high level of quality that the EU market is used to, you need to have specific product inspection and quality control measures set in place for your goods from Vietnam. In the past, with other newly enforced trade agreements with developing countries, the source buyers have relied on pre-shipment inspections and quality control agents to ensure that the good conforms to the various quality standards and that the stipulations of the trade agreement are adhered to. To take full advantage of the Vietnam Trade Opportunity, importers in the EU will need in-country inspection agents with the relevant experience to deliver on the expectation.

How Tetra Inspection can help you Trade with Vietnam

inspection Coverage
inspection Coverage

With 100 inspectors across 15 countries including Vietnam, our quality inspection services are designed to make your life as a producer or manufacturer of imported goods easier and more convenient. We have the experience and the industry knowledge to deliver fully customizable inspection reports for all your imported goods. Our services are packaged to be more than just cost-effective but to become an integral part of your business process so that you can increase your focus on other areas that need your attention. This gives you the peace of mind to grow your business knowing that your imported goods are of the highest standard, fully inspected, and of the highest quality. Our inspections reports are fully customizable and we will even improve your experience by adding in video calls with your inspector that will give you the visual and auditory assurance that your goods are on the standard. By using technology in our service offering you can get sample collections with GPS coordinates as well as defect review via video call with your inspector.

Using the services of Tetra Inspection will ensure that you always have a reliable inspector on-site where your goods are and when they ship your goods you know that they are of the highest quality in both material and production. Below are the main areas where our inspectors will benefit your business:

Contact us now and we can further explore your opportunities in Vietnam with the EVFTA.


Third-Party Inspection Companies Explained

First party inspection involves the manufacturing house self-assessing the product’s quality while second party inspection is undertaken by the buyer or the buyer’s in-house quality examination team. Third-party checks, on the other hand, are performed by an independent company to verify the quality claims. The third-party inspection contractors are generally hired by the buyers to ensure that the product specifications match its standards. Buyers utilize autonomous inspection service providers to validate that the manufacturing process meets international standards in terms of the quality management system, environmental management, and corporate social responsibility. Since they provide an impartial perspective on the quality of the goods, most companies find hiring a third-party inspector a justifiable expense.

Independent and Impartial Analysis

Third-Party Inspection (TPI) is the assessment and the inspection of services conducted by a 3rd party quality company. The purpose of getting the product or service examined by a third is to ensure the compliance of purchased products or services to the international code of standard, customer specifications, and environmental norms. The process involves inspection during and after the product’s manufacturing or rendering the said service. A third party inspection company usually provides the following services.

  • Technical control and support
  • Testing and inspection
  • Unbiased scrutiny
  • Approval services

third party inspection company provides around the clock assessment services to their clients. The inspections performed by third parties are certified. A TPI enterprise team is experienced, well-trained, and specialized in either a few or multiple product categories.

Benefits of Availing the Services of a Third Party Contractor

Third Party Inspection Company

Importers and business organizations can gain the following advantages if they employ the services of a third-party contractor.

  • Effortless Communication- The client manager provided by a third-party quality control company is less likely to misunderstand the expectations prescribed by importers. Individuals appreciate the presence of a reliable figure that can comprehend the standard specifications and implore the suppliers to deliver the right product.
  • Cost-effective and efficient- TPI is more commercial than alternate modes of inspection since self-examination can require to travel abroad to gauge the quality of the product. However, 3rd party quality companies have local experts stationed at various locations to assist their clients with standard testing. It improves the operational efficiency and guarantees certified product delivery.
  • Better consumer relations– The relationship between a supplier and an importer is based on the thread of trust. The importer keeps faith in the supplier for the delivery of quality goods while the seller cannot receive any feedback until the buyer sees the product and reviews it. The time lag and miscommunication can turn the relationship sour. Therefore, a third-party contractor acts as a mediator and improves the consumer relation by giving an unbiased feedback.
  • Preventing a disparity between expectations- The level of transparency is limited between a supplier and an importer. TPI eliminates the problems by placing your expectations upfront before the commencement of the production process. By employing a third party supervisor, a supplier can exert guarantee under the following situations.
  • Verify with the customer the actual terms of the contract and exhibit the condition and status of the production process.
  • Gather immediate feedback from the buyer related to non-conformity or violation of any code standard or specifications.
  • Foster a relationship based on faith and trust.

The inspectors will ensure that the factors mentioned above are carefully examined, and the verification is undertaken most professionally.

  • Avoiding order withdrawal– Suppliers and buyers prevent the shipment of substandard goods since it induces inconvenience on both sides. Importers will not tolerate a consignment of products with defective pieces because it hurts their supply chain and relationship with the clients. Therefore, they often tend to charge the suppliers heftily for faulty items exceeding the prescribed number. Third-party inspection companies assist suppliers in mitigating losses on the grounds of product rejection.

Re-iteration of these aspects is significant to establish the vitality of 3rd party quality control companies. Importers and suppliers must build a chain of trust. However, the uninterrupted delivery of superior quality products is guaranteed by independent contractors who try to make ends meet and assist their clients by working around the clock.

When to Hire a Third Party Inspection Company

There can be several instances when companies require the services of a third-party inspector. Business owners continuously face a dilemma as they struggle to outsource inspection to a random company. However, we have enlisted the situations where your company will require the assistance of a 3rd party inspection company.

  • Enterprises must employ the services of a third party inspection organization when working with new suppliers. The experts retained by the company are well-versed in multiple product categories. Evaluating the acceptable standards of the product offered by a new supplier will be an easy task.
  • If your in-house quality verification team is falling short on the benchmark results, you need a third party inspection company to remove the inefficiency.
  • If your enterprise purchases premium items, including high-end electronics or industrial equipment, you will need hands-on experts in your corner to examine the quality and technical specifications of the goods delivered.
  • Experts advise that it is better to assess the goods at different stages during production than to solve the issues with the supplier, when the product is already shipped. It is less costly and convenient on both ends. Repeated product quality issues reflect flaws in the production chain, which requires immediate rectification and the unbiased eye of a third-party inspector.

Business owners must realize that it is less costly to employ an autonomous third party contractor than having the entire shipment of goods revoked. Independent quality inspectors examine the product with a bird’s eye view and provide a completely impartial evaluation. Since they are familiar with the technical specifications of multiple product categories, proprietors must put third part inspection companies on retainers. Should there arise the necessity of a third-party quality control inspector, you can contact Tetra Inspection with your requirements.


Coronavirus disruption to the world’s supply chain is unprecedented, it has affected so far all industries and services across all continents.

Experts are comparing the Coronavirus outbreak to the SARS outbreak in 2003, but the implications this time are more severe. China’s larger role in the global economy compared to 17 years ago is affecting more than just a few niche regions.  

Coronavirus Disruption
Market Diagnosis (Year-on-year GDP)

So far, major airlines have canceled flights to China, while customs agents are cracking down on goods entering the U.S. It’s estimated that the areas accounting for 69% of China’s GDP will be halted for more than a week after the Lunar New Year, which will leave factories idle, shipped docked at port, and household spending at a record low — effects that are expected to spill over into countries who rely on Chinese companies as part of their supply chain.

5 Ways Coronavirus Impacts the Global Economy

Share of all imports of intermediate manufactured products coming from China in 2015

China accounts for about 17% of global GDP. Its $2.7 trillion in exports have earned it the title of the manufacturing center of the world. But when critical provinces like production-powerhouse Wuhan are suddenly shut down, locals aren’t the only ones who pay the price.

Coronavirus is creating disruptions to companies around the world in the following ways:

Labor

With more than 40,000 people in China being infected with Coronavirus and 60 million people under quarantine, there are far fewer workers to operate factories to keep production going. As a result, production schedules fall behind, or in some cases, are non-existent for the time being.

Materials

Fewer workers mean fewer materials being produced and transported, which can cause bottlenecks in production. Supply shortages will be more prevalent in China’s most impacted areas.

Logistics

Travel restrictions are abundant in China right now, both on a local and international level. Because of lower labor availability, established logistics providers and hubs may experience limitations in capacity and availability. Supplies and materials that aren’t experiencing a shortage may be delayed in arriving at their destination.

Sourcing

Due to travel restrictions, businesses may be limited to find new sourcing partners that can fill in the gaps if their current suppliers are unable to accommodate them.

Customers

Quarantines, travel restrictions, and labor limitations are expected to reduce household spending. In addition, consumers around the world may be more mindful about the products they purchase, both in-store and online, to limit their potential exposure to the virus.

Best Practices for Mitigating the Coronavirus Effect in the Future

Though hindsight is 20/20, companies should recognize the opportunity to mitigate future risk of contamination issues in the supply chain so that business can continue thriving, even in catastrophic situations like Coronavirus.

Diversify Suppliers

Similar to the phrase “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” companies shouldn’t put their business in the hands of a single supplier. Though you may have one or two core sources for specific items, it’s prudent to make additional partnerships that can fill in the gaps when your first choice can’t deliver.

An effective way to diversify your supply strategy is to conduct a Supplier Verification Audit, which checks each supplier against internationally recognized standards. Those who pass the audit operate at the highest level of standards and give you deeper insight into their legal, operational, and functional components.

As a result, you can create confident partnerships with suppliers that will be able to provide ongoing sourcing with a high caliber of service.

Conduct Pre-Shipment Inspections

During situations like Coronavirus, it’s more important than ever to recognize how supply chain inefficiencies can impact your bottom line. Companies should use this as an opportunity to identify potential bottlenecks that could heighten the effects of disasters.

One solution is to conduct pre-shipment inspections that can avoid potential hang-ups due to not meeting regulatory requirements. Companies who run into last-minute regulatory issues may experience costly delays and reworks, creating a negative ripple effect through the rest of your supply chain. Also, ensuring that products meet regulatory requirements prior to being shipped can help you avoid fines imposed by governing agencies.

Pre-shipment inspections should be considered an essential part of the quality control process. The earlier you can find issues in inconsistencies in your supply chain, the better you can mitigate their effects on timeliness and financial impact.

Develop a Strategic Control Partnership

Companies can rely on global partners to perform pre-shipment inspections and other quality control measures on their behalf.

 As a third-party inspection company, Tetra Inspection helps brands, retailers, and international importers to inspect their products at the source to ensure compliance with regulatory and quality requirements.

When bottlenecks in the supply chain occur at the top, such as the current predicament with Coronavirus, companies must be able to fluidly shift to alternative sources and eliminate as much of their margin of error as possible. Being prepared gives you an automatic competitive advantage during critical times, and starting now will enable you to be better prepared for the next disaster.

OceanOps
OceanOps

OceanOps reduces delays in container transport. With a dynamic platform for route change, the brand-new company from Rotterdam enables forwarders and importers to keep their cargo under control and find the best route. The international start-up (British, Serbian and Russian) will soon be pitching in Silicon Valley.

CEO Saif Khalaf provides some background information.

What was the reason for founding the company?

After twelve years in the container shipping industry at various levels, I was frustrated with the speed of progress in this sector. In 2018, I joined Avantida, a freight technology start-up that works for several large shipping and transport companies. Here I learned how to develop a concept and work with software developers, a fantastic experience. I resigned and joined the Antler program, a startup generator, in May 2019 to find co-founders for OceanOps.

What does OceanOps do?

One third of the sea containers have to deal with delays due to, among other things, operational problems. OceanOps wants to do something about this for customers of container shipping companies by means of dynamic route changes. We offer alternative routes as soon as there is the risk of a delay so that cargo can arrive at its final destination on time. It’s a similar concept to Waze, but instead of diverting a car when it’s stuck in traffic, we do it with containers. OceanOps’ platform is software as a service and easy to use.

What distinguishes OceanOps from its competitors?

There are several start-ups that try to avoid these delays through prediction or internet of things (IoT), but forecasting has its limitations. For example, how do you predict a port strike? The same goes for IoT. What do you do when you realize that your cargo has been delayed, even if you can trace it? You can switch to air freight, which is much more expensive than sea freight. So it’s not enough to use just one of those solutions.
That’s where OceanOps comes in. We can be seen as the real-time solution to divert cargo when problems arise. At the moment, we are the only startup that applies algorithms for optimal container routes from ship to destination.

It is done by combining different data sources and not only from port to port but also inland. It involves planning data for more than four thousand vessels from more than one hundred carriers, together with domestic routes.

Founders Yulia Vlasova, Saif Khalaf and Vladimir Avramov of OceanOps

How has the industry reacted?

Since the development of our first version of the platform, we have agreed on trials with forwarders and cargo owners in less than a month. And now we will start our first paid trial in January with a Dutch freight forwarder. This is pretty fast for a B2B startup in the conservative shipping industry.

What obstacles have you encountered?

It’s an exciting time in shipping and logistics, because these industries are now focusing on digitalization. Due to their old IT systems, these sectors are lagging behind other industries. For example, customers have a lot of choice when it comes to the delivery of small parcels such as track and trace, delivery point or even the choice of which day a parcel should be delivered. For containers, there are no guarantees on the delivery date.

This makes customers of shipping companies doubt whether they can change the route of their shipments. Our aim is to dispel the myth that shipping companies do not want or cannot help their customers solve delays. It is in shipping companies’ interest to improve their customer service from a commercial and operational point of view. Based on our practical experience in the shipping industry, we have ensured that our platform provides our customers with all the details a shipping company needs to know to be able to reroute the shipment quickly and effectively.

What has been the highlight so far?

There have been many highlights in such a short time. For example, it was an experience to pitch venture capital early on for a couple of major investors. Also, I never thought we’d be invited to give a presentation in Silicon Valley after just five months in business.

What happens next year?

We will focus on getting our product in line with the market through trials with customers. This will help us understand all the different problems they face when routing containers and managing their logistics. We also expect to conclude some important partnership agreements in the coming year. And, of course, we will prepare to provide economies of scale.

Where will OceanOps be in five years’ time?

We will be able to show our customers the most extensive capabilities of all routes, including intermodal domestic connections. We will use artificial intelligence to fully automate exception management for container transport.


What is greyscale?

Grayscale is used for assessing the color shading in between products and the customer’s approval sample or among pieces in production. Gray scaling has grades 1-5 and increases by half of the grade (1, 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2 and so on.) with 5 being the greatest. General speaking, many overseas clients can accept above grade 4, while some can accept the grade 3-4.

Grayscale textile inspection

There are two types of Grayscale (Gray Scale)– one for evaluating ‘color modification’ and one for evaluating ‘staining’. The color change scale consists of nine sets of gray-colored chips, from grades 1 to 5.

For color staining. It mainly is used for examining staining after rubbing by dry and wet white cotton cloths, in a professional lab. The employee usually attaches one white cotton cloth to the sample. Then, they will put them together into a washing maker and observe the outcome. An inspector usually cannot perform this test on-site given that the equipment and time are restricted. Rather, an inspector may carry out a rub test for color staining. To do this, the Inspector ought to prepare 2 pieces of white cotton material: one wet and the other dry. The inspector will rub the production sample 10 times with both with a force 9N( 1KG).

Nowadays, a lot of 3rd party inspection companies are increasing their inspectors’ skills and training on how to utilize special tools to examine product quality. For example, during a soft-goods or fabric inspection, the most essential tools that will be used are newton meters, metal detectors, barcode scanners, Pantone books, and so on. One of the most important for a textile inspection is a Grayscale in order to assess the color shading or staining.

Anticipated result:

  1. There needs to be no color transfer even worse than grade 4 on a Grayscale (between the initial white fabric and the colored one) after the dry test.
  2. There must be no color moved even worse than 3-4 on a Grayscale (in between the initial white fabric and the colored one) after the wet test.
  3. In order to get the most from your outcomes, the inspector must make certain to analyze the technique and outcome and discuss it to the factory plainly.

The factory must be able to help, such as in providing great quality 100% cotton white fabric and supplying excellent room lighting and conditions. In a textile inspection, the inspector’s experience is extremely essential when performing this test, so make certain to utilize a trustworthy Quality Control Company provider!


The Costly Business of Product Returns

According to the National Retail Federation, in America alone, retailers receive $ 260 billion in merchandise returned to retailers. Most of these returned products are either returned due to substandard quality of the product, damage during transportation or because of the substandard manufacturing process used by the vendors. This can be extremely dangerous for your business, as retailers, in turn, get back to the suppliers, who go mad on the vendors and the chain ends on the vendors who experience a loss in their business. amount of money in returned products, standards non-conformity and other defects that can be easily avoided by rendering the services of a quality inspection organization like Tetra Inspection.

Services Offered

Tetra Inspection offers quality inspection services that are internationally acceptable and digitally backed. All the services will help you in improving your final product and reducing the amount of revenue loss.

We offer a variety of quality control solutions like:

Product Inspection

Tetra Inspection QC

  • Pre-Shipment Inspection
  • During Production Inspection
  • Initial Production Inspection
  • Container Loading Check

Supplier Audit Services

  • Supplier Verification Audit
  • Social Audit (SA8000)
  • Factory Audit (IS9000)

Amazon FBA Inspection

  • Amazon FBA inspection

Countries we Cover

Currently, we cover a range of countries and their quality inspection processes are mastered by our specialist auditors. The countries that we currently operate in include:

Inspection coverage

As such, Tetra Inspection covers a vast area of operations from East Asia to Africa and Europe. This gives Tetra Inspection the versatility to operate in different regions, with different country policies and master them.

AsiaAfricaEurope
ChinaMoroccoPortugal
IndiaEgyptTurkey
BangladeshSouth Africa
Vietnam
Cambodia
Myanmar
Taiwan
Hong Kong
South Korea
Philippines
Thailand
Indonesia
Pakistan

Our Expertise

We at Tetra Inspection deal with all products ranging from electronics to garments.

Product inspection

Hardline Products

  • Furniture Inspection
  • Homeware Inspection
  • Kitchenware Inspection
  • Construction Material Inspection

Softline Products

  • Garments
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Other Apparel Products Inspection

Toys

  • All sort of toys made of all materials

Electronic Products

  • Household Product Inspections
  • Lighting Products Inspection
  • Consumer Electronics Inspection

How Will You Benefit from Seeking Tetra Inspection Services?

Quality Inspection is extremely important for your products. As you can be at ease from the last-minute hassles of product rejection from the client. Furthermore, you can avoid the millions of dollars’ worth of re-work price that you might have to pay for sending the products back to vendors after client rejection. Also, you can stay in line with the local regulations of the different countries where your products are sold to.

Conclusion

Thus, you can save thousands of dollars on your shipments by using the quality inspection services of Tetra Inspection and maintain your reputation and market presence no matter what. With Tetra Inspection’s quality monitoring techniques, you can enjoy seamless supply chain management from the moment the raw material leaves the vendor to the point when it reaches your client

Please contact us on sales@tetrainspection.com


Amazon FBA Labelling and Packaging complete guide

Digital revolution and technical drifts have catapulted our lifestyles and standard of living in great shape. Virtual stores now allow people to shop from the coziness of their homes without the pressure of a salesperson and online marketplaces providing an innovative and more expedient venue for the exchange of virtually all types of products and services. Both businesses and customers have embraced online buying as an economical and more convenient way to shop.

In this era where we have a countless degree of online shops and store to help people with their purchase temptations here, we will be looking at some interesting dimensions of the world’s largest American E-commerce company,  Yes..!! You guessed it right, it’s “Amazon”.

Amazon has built up customer service, inventory, and shipping empire that enables the site to offer whole kit and caboodle from clothing to furniture to home appliances. It retails digital content like movies, music, and apps. Its Amazon Web Services section is a multibillion-dollar provider of cloud-based services for millions of business customers around the world, including institutes, organizations, and universities.

To become a successful Amazon seller you are required to have thorough understating of the entire Amazon FBA labeling and packaging requirement.

  1. AMAZON FBA LABELING REQUIREMENT:

Let’s look at all the labeling requirement criteria one by one:

  • FNSKU Labelling

FNSKU is the way that Amazon recognizes a product as unique to the seller that has sent it to the Amazon fulfillment center.

FNSKU Label

Amazon has 11 different kinds of FNSKU label specifications available on their menu. Whereby, the seller can choose one of the labels for their product. These different types of labels allow you to identify the type of product being sold.  Most used label for Amazon products is “40-up labels 52.5 mm x 29.7 mm on A4”.

Below you can find all the options for printing out the FNSKU labels.

FNSKU Label Dimensions

Guide to download FNSKU Labels:

In order to download the FNSKU label from Amazon, you can use the following procedure.

Amazon FNSKU label

  • Go to inventory On the Top Menu Bar

Amazon FNSKU label download

  • Tap on the small button next to the edit

FNSKU label guide

  • Choose print item labels

FNSKU print item label

  • Choose the number of labels required to be printed

Picture of FNSKU labels

  • Then select labels size as per your product and Print

FNSKU label size 

  • Sold as set Labels:

The units that are supposed to be sold in sets must not be separated and sold individually. Such products are required to be marked & labeled as sets on their outer package to let Amazon know that these products will be sold as one complete unit and not be treated as a single entity.

Amazon sold as set label

  • Suffocation Labels:

Suffocation warning: “To avoid any danger of suffocation, it is essential that you keep all plastic bags away from babies and children. Do not use these bags in cribs, beds, carriages or playpens. These bags are not toys for kids to play with”.

Products that are being protected by polythene bags must meet the following criteria:

  1. Suffocation warnings labels are mandatory for poly bags with 5 inches opening or more.Amazon suffocation label
  2. Warning labels must be placed in a legible font and on the prominent face of the product. You can use the following table to decide the font size of the warning labels.

Amazon warning label size

  • Shipment Labels:

Shipment labels are labels that are required to be placed on the outer most packaging/cartons of the product to let Amazon know about shipment details. These shipment labels can be generated in sellers system in new shipping plan.

Guide to create a new shipment plan for Amazon FBA:

Amazon inventory

  • Tap on the small button next to the edit

Amazon shipment preparing

  • then select send/replenish inventory

Replenish inventory amazon

  • select shipping plan

Amazon Shipping Plan

  • select packaging type, fill in address information & click “continue”

Amazon Inventory

  • Select “quantity”

Amazon inventory quantity

  • Prepare products

Amazon product preparation

  • Label the products

Amazon product labels

  • Review shipment

Amazon Shipping plan review

  • View shipment

View Shipment

  • Prepare shipment

Once you are done with entering all the relevant details of the shipment, the next stage is to finalize the shipment details.

Firstly, you will need to select the shipping service that you want to use for the shipment. For this, you will have 2 options to choose from:

  • Small Parcel Delivery (SPD)

The SPD is used for small units that are packed in individual boxes and are marked individually on the boxes.

  • Less Than Truckload/Full Truckload (LTL)

This type of shipment will load your shipment along with products from other vendors too. Also, the entire shipment might have multiple dropping points on the way before dropping off your shipment.

  • Select Shipment Service

Amazon shipment service

  • Shipment Packaging

Once you are done with the shipment preparation, you will need to select the shipment packing method. You can either have everything in one box or have multiple boxes for the shipment depending on the size of the box, weight of the shipment and other specifications, etc.

Amazon shipment packaging

  • Printing Shipping Label

After that, you will have to print the shipping labels to stick on the packaging box.

Shipping label printing

  • Give your Shipment a Tracking Number

After everything has been finalized, you should give your shipment a tracking number for ready reference and easy tracking.

Amazon FBA tracking number

  1. PACKAGING REQUIREMENT:

Being Amazon FBA seller, we are required to fulfill the set criteria for the packaging to minimize or to elude any chances of cancelation or re-packaging. In case one fails to fulfill the prerequisites, this may end up leading them to pay an additional cost for the packaging.

  • Loose Products

Each product must be contained in one complete secure package and each package will have unique FNSKU. Amazon refuses to accept products that require Amazon’s help to assemble before dispatch.

  • Sold as Set:

All the products that are required to be sold as sets must be marked as “do not separate”, “sold as a set” or “this is a set”. These types of products will be received and dispatched as sets.

Amazon sold as set label

  • Poly Bagged Units

Suffocation warning: “To avoid any danger of suffocation, it is essential that you keep all plastic bags away from babies and children. Do not use these bags in cribs, beds, carriages or playpens. These bags are not toys for kids to play with”.

Products that are being protected by polythene bags must meet the following criteria:

  • Suffocation warnings labels are mandatory for poly bags with 5 inches opening or more.
  • Warning labels must be placed in a legible font and on the prominent face of the product. You can use this figure to determine the print size of the warning labels.

warning label size

  • The thickness of polybag must be 1.5mils
  • The bag must be clear
  • The bag must have a barcode (UPC, EAN, etc.) or X-00 label which can be scanned through the bag.
  • The bag must be sealed completely.
  • The polybag must not protrude more than 3″ past the product’s dimensions.
  • Scented products must be sealed to avoid fragrance absorption into other products.
  1. Conclusion

Summing up, we are sure that after reading this you will have a better idea about the Amazon packaging requirements. We recommend you to follow these instructions meticulously in order to avoid having any rejections or call-backs of damaged products because of improper labeling. In case you need any help on this please feel free to contact Tetra Inspections for this.

 


Mold Prevention – 8 Tips to get rid of mold in your production area

  1. What’s mold and why it’s considered a critical defect?

Mold is a type of fungus that can be categorized as one of the most dangerous microorganisms for your brand. You might be wondering how a seemingly harmless strand of Fungus can affect your brand image.

Though Mold is seemingly harmless, it can cause serious health issues for a specific class of people including children, pregnant women and the elderly to list a few. As such, imagine if a consumer observes mold growth on his or her newly bought shoes, jacket, cap or any food item what do you expect their reaction to would be about your brand?

In addition, if the mold is found in a food product there can also be a lawsuit against your brand causing it serious damage in terms of revenue and prestige.

As a result, mold prevention is extremely important at your production site, retailers store, and storage facility in order to avoid any occurrence of molds in your products.

Before we move to the prevention strategies for mold let’s have a look at the environmental factors that support mold growth.

Molds are of numerous types and can grow depending on the support they get from the environment. Among a few common ones are the black molds, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus to name a few.

Generally, mold can grow rapidly in areas where the conditions support their growth.

Following are a few ideal characteristics of an environment that support Mold growth.

  • Humid and Damp Areas

Humid and damp conditions are ideal breeding grounds for mold. It has been observed that areas, where there is water dripping from nearby sources or a leakage in the piping, can create a moist environment that is ideal for Mold growth.

Further, in garments that soak up water or are placed in warehouses that have high humidity can result in high mold growth.

  • Moderate Temperature

Another important factor required for Mold growth is a temperate environment. This makes warehouses, factories and retailers stores as the ideal places for mold growth as the temperature is mild.

  • Areas with Organic Matter

And last but not least, Mold does not produce its own food and as such relies on organic matter in the environment to consume. Interestingly, molds produce enzymes that act on organic substances and make them consumable. That is why you can observe molds on products like leather shoes, jackets or other organic products.

Keeping the devastating impact that mold can have on your brand here are the 8 tips for you to control Mold in your business environment and ensure a great brand image.

  1. Control humidity

Mold thrives in conditions with a relative humidity greater than 65%, as a result, the first thing you need to control is the humidity at your production/storage facility.  If you can keep the relative humidity of the facility below 65% then the growth rate for mold spores will decrease substantially.

As a result, maintaining the relative humidity of your facility below 65% is extremely important to avoid mold growth.

In order to keep the relative humidity of the facility below 65% or as suited for your product, certain mold inspections need to be carried out that determine the vulnerable areas where mold can grow.

Once the weak areas have been determined steps are taken to ensure that humidity does not increase above the set value. These steps range from proper ventilation of the facility to placement of Silica Gel and Cargo Dry packs to protect the products from Mold growth. A few of these tips as follows.

  1. Proper Ventilation of the Facility

One of the most important steps that you can take to avoid mold growth is by ensuring proper ventilation of your facility. This can include measures from the design phase of the facility to onsite additions after the construction has been completed.

Mold inspections are part of the factory audit checklist, it includes a survey of the facility and points out the design flaws regarding its ventilation. Once the audit is complete, the comprehensive report on the flaws of the design features is shared with you so that you can take effective measures to avoid mold growth at your facility.

Possible design suggestions include:

  • Upgrade of the HVAC system in areas that are prone to mold growth
  • Re-routing or addition of ventilation facilities in areas that are currently not properly ventilated
  • Optimizing the temperature and efficiency of your ventilation system in order to maintain the required temperature/humidity requirements
  • Setup a dry room

By implementing these effective measures you will be able to better control the ventilation of your facility and thus will be better off at avoiding mold growth.

  1. Avoid carton or product direct contact with floor or walls

One good way to avoid mold growth in your facility is by keeping the cartons or your products away from floors and walls. This is because mold usually creeps in from the floor or walls that have substantial moisture and a suitable temperature to support mold growth.

As a result, you should use high-grade plastic support bins/racks for your products/cartons. Also, you can store the cartons/products at a place away from the walls and floor by using special stands that can hold the weight of the product.

This is a very effective method to avoid mold from affecting your product and will ensure your brand image stays intact.

  1. Water, food, oil and other liquid substance should remain outside the production workshop

Furthermore, as you know that mold needs an external source of nutrition to survive, this source usually comes from the organic substance that is found in your facility. Usually, food leftovers, leather products, oils, fuels, and other similar organic substances become major contributors to mold growth at your facility.

In order to overcome this, you must take proper mold quality control measures.

These measures include:

  • Keeping Organic substances in controlled environments and away from the other products at the facility.
  • During production special measures should be taken to avoid spillage of fluids or other food products in the facility.
  • Measures should be taken to keep the work environment clean from any food leftovers by the employees.
  • A strict housekeeping policy should be in place to avoid mold growth.

These are just a few suggestions to keep the mold growth at your facility in check. In order to discuss the complete set of measures that you can take, please feel free to contact Tetra Inspection and discuss with our mold experts.

  1. Use Silica Gel

Silica gelAnother great way of controlling humidity in the vicinity of your products is by using Silica Gel. As a rule of thumb, 1 gram of Silica Gel is required for a container of 1 liter and so on. Here is a table that gives an estimate for the amount if Silica gel you need for the varying container sizes.

Note: These are only estimated values, in order to get the exact values calculated for your environment, please contact Tetra Inspection.

In addition, you can also use Silica gel for your storage facility as it keeps the humidity under control even in extreme cases.

Hence Silica Gel is a good way to keep in the vicinity of your products to reduce the humidity and avoid mold growth in your products and packaging.

  1. let dry after steam ironing, don’t pack into polybag straightway

One major reason for mold growth in garment factories and the related product is the left-over moisture that stays in the garment after steam pressing. As a result, in order to avoid mold growth from affecting your garment products, it is recommended to let the cloth naturally dry before you pack it into the polybag.

Since polybags are impermeable the moisture stays within the packing long after the clothes have been packed and provides an ideal growing environment for mold.

Tetra Inspection can help you in this regard by developing stringent procedures that would ensure the proper time between steam-pressing and packaging of the clothes to avoid mold growth.

  1. Use cargo dry inside the container

Cargo DryWhile Mold can also affect your product during the transportation phase, Cargo Dry is a great way of protecting your products from Mold growth due to moisture during transportation. According to desiccare you may need 1.5 kg of Cargo Dry for a 20ft container. Subsequently, the amount doubles for a 40ft container to 3 kg per container.

Plus, the amount Cargo Dry required also varies with the product being shipped. In order to confirm the actual amount of Cargo Dry required please feel free to contract Tetra Inspection to optimize your calculations as per the Mold Quality Control Program.

  1. Use radiation companies to kill all mold

In case Mold growth has been observed at your facility it is extremely important to take necessary measures to kill the mold at the earliest and avoid it from spreading any further.

As a part of the Tetra Inspection Mold inspection program, we determine the areas that are affected the most from mold growth and then recommend the best way to exterminate it.

One of the best and most effective ways to kill mold is by using the radiation method of extermination. Specialized companies use radiations, especially, UV radiation to kill the mold spores in your goods.

Conclusion

As a result, it is understandable that Mold is potentially a very serious issue for your product and ultimately your brand image.

Also, mold does not only affects your production or storage facility it can also affect your product while it is being shipped to your clients.

As such you must be ready to protect your products from mold growth at all costs and ensure a mold free delivery to your clients.

Tetra Inspection can offer turn-key Mold Quality Control solutions for your business that focuses on all areas of the supply chain from the point the raw material leaves the supplier to the time the final product reaches the client that your product stays safe from Mold.

Our solutions are based on thorough mold inspections that focus on:

  • Production/Storage facility
  • Packaging and Cargo loading
  • Company Procedures and Processes
  • And other aspects of the supply chain that will help you in controlling the mold growth in your products

In case you have any queries related to the mold inspection or the mold quality control program you can contact us via the details provided below.

Contact us.


Introduction to Proposition 65

If you are operating in the state of California or have consumers who use your products in the state of California, you must be aware and comply by the “the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986” also commonly known as the Proposition 65 or Prop 65.

Prop 65

1. What is Proposition 65?

According to the Prop 65 regulation:

“Any person doing business in California who knowingly and intentionally exposes California consumers to one of 900 listed chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity must give a “clear and reasonable” warning to those consumers.”

Proposition 65 is the set of laws that require businesses to keep Californians aware of the compositions of their products if they contain certain chemicals that are carcinogenic, cause childbirth anomalies or other harms to the reproductive system of the consumers.

The Prop 65 was passed as law in the Californian state by a majority of 63%-37% and actually aimed at keeping the water sources clean from any contamination from the cancer-causing chemicals or other chemicals that can have toxic effects on the reproductive system of the consumers.

As a result of the regulation, now businesses are required to clearly mark their products that contain a certain amount of the specified chemicals with “WARNING” labels.

The entire process of Proposition 65 and its enforcement is monitored by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

Lab testing heavy metals

2. What chemicals are on the Proposition 65 list?

For Prop 65 compliance businesses are required to put a clear WARNING label on the products that contain known chemicals that cause cancer or other reproductive anomalies in the consumers.

According to the Proposition 65 regulation, the list of chemicals that are categorized as the “known chemicals for causing birth defects and cancer” is published on the OEHHA website and is required to be updated at least once a year (Health and Safety Code section 25249.8).

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The affected chemicals range from a variety of products including natural and synthetic chemicals that are widely used in a number of daily use products. For instance, specific pesticides, food colors, drugs, dyes, and certain solvents are listed on the Proposition 65 list of affected chemicals.

A few of the products that may contain the affected chemicals can be of any of the following categories of products (the list is non-exhaustive):

  • Paints and other solvents
  • Shoes and other footwear
  • Toys and plastic products
  • Cosmetics and Beauty products
  • Papers, banners and other stationery products

Interestingly, the affected chemicals may not only be directly a part of the product being sold, but it can also be a by-product of the part after a chemical process, for instance, the fumes from the car exhaust that can be containing the affected chemicals.

As such it is extremely important for businesses to know about the affected chemicals on the Prop 65 list and put a clear warning label to make the consumers aware of the harmful effects of the products.

3. What does a Prop 65 warning mean

A Prop 65 warning label on a product indicates that the business manufacturing the product is aware of the harmful chemicals contained in the product or will be released into the environment after a chemical process.

In case the business understands that the level of Prop 65 chemicals in the product are low enough to cause any harm to the consumers then such a label can be avoided (in order to do this a business will have to prove by the Prop testing methods that the current level of chemical in the product will not cause any harm to the consumers as listed in Proposition 65 regulations.)

Also, it is important to note that the warning labels must be “clear and reasonable” and can be posted on the affected product/area of production in multiple ways. The instructions for the warning as available on the p65 warning website are as follows:

  • The name of at least one listed chemical that prompted the warning
  • The Internet address for OEHHA’s new Proposition 65 warnings website, P65Warnings.ca.gov, which includes additional information on the health effects of listed chemicals and ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to them
  • A triangular yellow warning symbol on most warnings

As a result, you must be aware of the products that your business is producing that contain the chemicals listed in the Proposition 65 list.

Prop 65 label

4. Does California Proposition 65 Apply to Your Product?

The California proposition 65 requirements apply to all businesses that are either situated and operating in California State OR are supplying products for consumers in the state of California. There are only 3 exceptions to the rule:

  1. If a business can show that the exposure level due to their product falls at or below the “safe harbor” level. OEHHA has devised the safe harbor levels for the listed chemicals and you will have to prove it to the office of environmental health hazard assessment by Prop 65 testing rules that the affected chemical in your product is below the “safe harbor” level.
  2. Businesses having 10 or more employees are subject to the regulations (in case you are supplying to a larger group of distributors then even with less than 10 employees your business will have to comply with the Prop 65 compliance)
  • Businesses who do not sell products to Californian consumers are also exempted from the Proposition 65 compliance (in case you are supplying products to a distributor that operates in the Californian region then you must also comply with the Prop 65 regulations).

As such it is a complex process for companies to know when they fall under the Prop 65 compliance criteria. This is why Tetra Inspection is here to help you out comply with the Prop 65 regulations because a violation of the rules can lead you into deep trouble.

5. What Are the Consequences of Non-Compliance?

In case a product that you are supplying to Californian consumers fails the Prop 65 testing criteria AND the product does not contain a “clear and reasonable” warning label then your product will be held in violation of the regulations and the associated penalties will apply.

Once a product is found in violation of the Proposition 65 compliance rules the business will be issued a 60-day notice by the Attorney General’s Office. During this period the Attorney General’s office can initiate an action against the manufacturer and if the AG office does not take an action a private party can file a lawsuit after the 60-day notice period.

The penalty for non-violation can rate as high as $ 2,500 per violation per day. An out of court settlement is then solicited that can price as high as $ 60,000 for the medium-sized organizations and $1000, 000 for larger ones.

It has also been discovered that a lot of bounty hunters are in search for the businesses that are non-compliant with the Prop 65 regulations and earn a fortune from them.

6. The Impact of Consumer Product Recalls

Violations of the Prop 65 will not only cost you the various penalties, but it will also damage the reputation of your product in more ways than you can possibly think of.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of US, all manufacturers are required to comply with the regulations for products that can be hazardous for the general consumers and especially children from the ages of 0-12. Once your product has been found in violation of the Proposition 65 regulations you will have to “call-back” your products.

As a result, consumer confidence in your product will plummet and it might take a lifetime for you to regain the level of market share after the violation.

Also, recalling the products from the market may cost a fortune due to all the transportation costs, investigation costs, customer reimbursements and many more costs that might even send you into bankruptcy.

Once the product has been removed from the market, it will take you a substantial time to reach the same level of market share and penetration as people will not be confident to buy a product that has been found in violation of the regulation.

Competitors will fully capitalize on this and will try their best to push you out of business during your downtime.

7. How Can Tetra Inspection helps you avoid Prop 65 Violations?

Due to all the hassle associated with the Proposition 65 requirements and the potential harm a violation can cause for your product you must solicit the services of an expert quality inspection organization like Tetra Inspection.

Tetra Inspection will not only help you keep clear from harm’s way by pointing out the potential violation of the regulation by your products it will also suggest you ways of improving the product and increasing its quality.

In this regard, we have designed special Initial Product Inspections and During Production Inspections (DUPRO) that enable you to identify the compliance of your end-products with regulations.

As such, you will have substantial time to take the corrective actions and avoid suffering from the product call-backs.

Furthermore, the Proposition 65 chemical list and other associated requirements are updated regularly. As a result, Tetra Inspection will keep you posted on the relevant updates in the regulation and how you should take the necessary changes to avoid any violations and ensure the smooth running of your business with the highest quality of deliverables.


For every product manufactured, whether in batches or not, there is always a need to inspect them, as to whether or not the manufacturers meet the standards set for the product. Most manufacturers mass produce in batches. It would be a big waste of time, money and energy to go through all products one after the other. In fact, it might even be impossible to do so. That is why the AQL was introduced.

The AQL, acronym for Acceptance Quality Limit or Acceptance Quality Levels in some quarters, is an international standard for the ascertainment of quality in any product being inspected. The AQL is defined as the least tolerable quality level of a product. That is, the highest number of defective units of the product, of which anything above will lead to the rejection of the entire batch of the product.

Although the AQL is an internationally recognized standard of ensuring the quality of products, different countries, and importers set different levels of acceptable quality for minor, major and critical defects in a batch of products. This is because, different products require different AQLs, with respect to their means of production as well as other factors to be considered while varying the AQL. What are these factors manufacturers should consider while setting AQLs for their products?

Is it really necessary to set a suitable AQL for your production? Yes of course. Setting the right AQL for your production cannot be overemphasized. It helps you check and ensures the maintenance of the quality level of your products. Perfection is an abstract concept, especially in the line of production and manufacturing. Therefore, it is not expected that a manufacturer will deliver the good that is 100% without any form of defective. It is thus the job of the AQL to control the number of defective units in every batch produced.

1. How To Set a Suitable AQL Balance Between Acceptance And Refusal of Your Batch?

As stated on the onset, AQLs are international standards for ensuring the quality of products from any manufacturer’s production line. The AQLs, however, vary from product to product. There are various factors that can cause this variation in AQL across products. These factors are what every manufacturer should consider in setting suitable AQLs for their production.

First of all, in choosing a suitable AQL for your production, you as a manufacturer have to determine your level of tolerance. When this has been determined and understood, it becomes easier to set the AQL. Tolerance levels of products are usually set and determined in the following manner: Categorize The Defect Levels For Your Production

2. There are 3 categories for every form of production. Namely, Critical, Major and Minor Defects.

AQL Inspection

Critical Defects

 A production batch or a unit thereof that is categorized as having a critical defect is one that is totally unacceptable by any standards and are subject to outright rejection. Products in this category have to fail to comply with the basic standards required of such a product. That is to say that, regulations laid down to control the quality of the product has been disregarded. A fine example is an electric bulb that smokes out each time it is connected to electricity. This product is dangerous and therefore has a 0% rating.

Major Defects

Products deemed to have major defects are those that might not be considered acceptable by the consumer, not necessarily because they failed to respect regulations controlling their quality, but because of the condition, they are in at the time of production. One of such products may be a batch of vehicles that includes cars with poor body spraying. This does not make it unacceptable but will go a long way in reducing the value of the car. Products in This category are usually rated at 2.5%.

Minor Defects

 A product that deviates slightly from its specifications is regarded as one with minor defects. Usually, the end consumer may not mind the deviation, so, it may not really matter, like an electrical appliance with one or two missing screws but the product still works just fine. This will earn a rating of 4.0%.

Every production has one or two defective units. That is, not every unit produced in a batch, meets up to the standard of quality set by the manufacturer. In order to adequately control the quality, it is imperative to classify the various levels of defect On Your products. When this is done, it will aid you in setting the suitable AQL Level For your production line.

3. Factors To Consider While Setting Your AQL Limit

Textile Inspection

Choosing the proper AQL Limit for your product is very critical. You, however, have to consider the following factors.

The Market

If your products have an international scope and usage, you will have to adjust your AQL according to the market your products are going to sell. The point, therefore, is this, the Acceptance Quality Levels for every product varies from place to place and from market to market. If you are going to sell in markets in North America or Europe, the tolerance standard for critical, major and minor defects are 0%, 2.5%, and 4.0% respectively. Having a sound knowledge of this will help you to properly set the AQLs for your products. Armed with this, the manufacturer will be able to adjust his AQL to be milder or more severe.

The sensitivity of The Product

Products such as airplanes, drugs, and other edibles and consumables cannot afford to have a high defective rate. This is because the slightest derailment from quality standards set could have very dire circumstances, such as even loss of life. Therefore, it is imperative for manufacturers of products with this much sensitivity to be less tolerant of defects in their products. It is common practice nonetheless in these fields of industry manufacturing sensitive products, to have tools to ensure the reduction of defects in their manufacturing processes. It is hence not out of place to see this kind of products with 1% or less defect rate.

Consumer Preferences

The manufacturer also understanding the preferences of his end consumers will also be instrumental to him choosing his acceptance quality levels in a way and manner that it tallies with his consumer’s preferences. If the manufacturer knows what exactly his consumers want, he would know precisely the standard of quality expected of his product, and will, therefore, according adjust his AQL Level.

There is no hard and fast rule in the choosing of AQLs for your products. As a manufacturer, you just have to understand your products, the market you want to sell it and the end consumer of your products. The decision of defect tolerance lies with you. If you decide that the defect tolerance for the whole batch of your products should not be beyond 1.5%, then that is your AQL.

It is very important therefore for every manufacturer to know that it is a very competitive market out there and therefore there is a need to suitably choose their AQL. The need for an expert to help you prepare AQL for your product is as important choosing the AQL itself.  Terra inspection, with several years of experience in providing quality control services to manufacturers and the products. Tetra Inspection Management is committed to ensuring that your products meet all internationally recognized standard of quality; they will help you choose the most suitable AQL for your production.