In recent years, the rising demand for consumer products in developed countries has forced importers to seek suppliers in developing countries. As more developing countries enter the global supply chain, importers have to adopt effective quality control measures to avoid low-quality products from insidious suppliers and manufacturers. Quality control is crucial for you to avoid losses and reputational damage due to defective products. Exporters and manufacturers also need quality control to comply with regulations set by government agencies and avoid legal issues. The most important step in the quality control process is pre-shipment inspection (PSI).
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What is A Pre-shipment Inspection?
Quality Control in China and across Asia
Pre Shipment Inspection (PSI)
What it Pre-shipment Inspection?
Pre-shipment inspection is a step taken by buyers, suppliers, agencies, and other trade operators to ascertain the conformity of newly manufactured products before shipping for export or import. It is a systematic procedure for determining whether the manufactured goods for export or import meet the requirements in regards to the quantity, quality standards, specifications, and regulations. All pre-shipment inspections must adhere to internationally recognized ANSI/ASQC Z1.4 (ISO 2859-1) statistical sampling procedure. Comprehensive inspections are conducted before the products are shipped to clients focusing on functionality, performance, durability, appearance, dimension, and so on. During pre-shipment inspections, the inspectors use the AQL sample size selected randomly from all batches in the order.
The quality control inspector compiles a comprehensive inspection report and issues pre-shipment inspection certificates based on the findings of the assessment of each criterion. Inspection reports visualize and explain the quality control process while inspection certificates verify whether the batches of products inspected conform to the specifications in the sale contract with a pass or fail. In most countries, local custom departments require pre-shipment inspection certificates to allow entry of imported goods as a measure to protect the health and safety of consumers. Whether you are exporting or importing, pre-shipment inspections offer a wide range of benefits and should be prioritized.
Step 1. On-Site Inspection Visit
The first step in a pre-shipment inspection procedure is visiting the production site or factory. On-site visit for pre-shipment inspection is conducted when production is completed 100%, and at least 80% of the client’s order has been packed and ready for shipping.
Step 2. Quantity Verification
The inspectors focus on verifying the number of products is accurate and conforms to the total number of units ordered. This step also includes verifying whether the units in each shipping carton is correct based on the client’s requirement. The packaging and labeling are also verified in this step with a focus on safe transportation. If the client has several outlets in different locations or countries, the inspector can ensure that the correct number of products are packed for each outlet.
Step 3. Random Selection
To ensure the accuracy of pre-shipment inspections, the inspector uses Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) defined under ISO 2859-1 (ANSI/ASQC Z1.4). This statistical sampling procedure is internationally accepted for PSI inspections. The sample size for inspection is determined by AQL standards and the total number of units in a batch or order. The AQL defines the acceptable number of defects in a batch. Any batch with more than the acceptable number of defects is rejected and marked as a fail by the inspector.
Step 4. Conformity Verification
PSI inspection also seeks to verify the conformity of the manufactured to specifications like size, color, and weight. But these specifications are not rigid. They vary depending on the nature of the product under inspection. Packaging and labeling of boxes are also important.
Step 5. Function and Safety Test
The sample is taken through a rigorous test to determine whether it passes the safety test. Inspectors also focus on surfacing invisible defects that may impede the product from functioning as intended. The strategies used in this step vary widely depending on the product. Garments can use pull tests, fatigue tests, and stretch tests. Rigorous safety tests are required for electronics and mechanical products like bicycles. The products must pass all tests before they are certified and marked with country-specific labels depending on the destination market.
Step 6. Cosmetic and Workmanship Check
The pre-shipment inspection will check for three different types of defects categorized into major, minor, and critical defects. A randomly selected sample is inspected for any visible defects regarded as the workmanship check. The inspector makes a pass or a fail decision based on predetermined tolerance levels.
Step 7. Inspection Report
The inspectors compile several pre-shipment inspection procedure certificates and reports during and after completion of product inspection. Pre-shipment inspection certificates and reports convey the balanced and unbiased findings of the inspectors. They verify whether the goods are inspected to conform to the specifications stated in the contract between the seller and buyer.
Tetra Inspection Pre-Shipment Inspection Services
Tetra Inspection is among the global leaders in quality control. We are specialists in pre-shipment inspections and offer our expertise to organizations from across the world. Our highly trained product inspectors are qualified in the ANSI/ASQ sampling and other internationally recognized sampling standards.
Tetra Inspection’s comprehensive pre-shipment inspection procedure covers all the criteria required to deliver compliant pre-shipment inspection certificates. Our product inspectors compile accurate inspection reports with quality images of any defects discovered to help you in your decision-making. We offer quality control services at a flat-rate fee of $240 all-inclusive in China and other Asian countries. For more information, please contact us.