As an importer/exporter, running business smoothly across cities, states, and country borders without any delivery delays and quality-related hurdles is a dream for many. Pre-Shipment Inspection plays an essential part in the quality control mechanism and helps to keep a strict check on the quality and safety standards of the shipment.
One can only sometimes be on-sight for supervision when the consignment is about to leave the manufacturer’s unit. Even if you can visit the location on the day of shipment, inspecting and evaluating every container based on specified standards can only be done with a professional team on-ground. This usually calls for help from Pre-Shipment Inspection companies that provide on-site Inspection services. Taking help from experts who have solid, hands-on experience in handling shipment inspections can boost your import/export cycle.
What is Pre-Shipment Inspection?
A Pre-Shipment Inspection is an overall evaluation of the containers before they are packed and ready for loading. This shipment inspection is usually done when almost 90% of the production is complete. Accredited Inspection Bodies handle the Inspection authorized for conformity assessment procedures.
During a Pre-Shipment Inspection, parameters like durability and quality of the products and the packaging, quantity of the containers, dimensions and measurements, and operational capacity are tested thoroughly. The standard documents the importer shared are the inspectors’ primary reference point. The consignment is checked and tested against the guidelines mentioned in the importer’s report.
After an accredited inspection body is done with the on-site pre-shipment Inspection, a detailed report is generated with explicit mention of definite findings, major and minor loopholes, corrective action plan for maintaining quality and safety standards before the shipment leaves the manufacturing unit.
How to perform a Pre-Shipment Inspection?
A Pre-Shipment Inspection procedure is always decided on parameters like- the type of merchandise, location, manufacturing unit, etc. A shipment inspection must be done under intense supervision without overlooking any procedures; this can lead to product reversal, heavy losses, and even hamper a business’s reputation. To carry out the shipment inspection with precision and accuracy, it is advised to follow the step-by-step procedures-
- Factory Visit –
Pre-Shipment Inspection is performed at the plant/unit’s location. The Inspection is meant to test the consignments when almost 80%-90% of the manufacturing is complete. This involves appropriately examining the manufacturing floor where the Inspection will be performed. Physical presence is also necessary to contact the factory’s employees and management in case some issue needs to be reported.
- Checking consignment quantity-
One of the first steps in a pre-shipment inspection is to note the quantity of the shipment and check if it matches the specified number by the importer. While the Inspection begins when almost 80% of the production is complete, so during the check- the final quantity is still not ready. Still, the supervisor ensures the quantity is approved from the final production run so that the consignment is complete in number when loading begins.
- Sampling plays a very critical role in the overall pre-shipment inspection procedure. Sampling procedures are set before the Inspection begins to help direct the inspectors on what percentage of products will be inspected from the order. Different statistical sampling procedures are used to decide the sample size and techniques for sample inspection.
- Quality check is what drives the entire Pre-Shipment Inspection. When checking samples against standards, an acceptable quality limit is decided, determining what percentage of a consignment can fall below the standards for the consignment to be deemed “pass.” Functional testing, mechanical testing, and electrical safety testing are quality verification-product-specific tests to determine the shipment’s quality.
- Visual Inspection is an essential aspect of Pre-Shipment Inspection. A thorough assessment of the product’s appearance, shape, and size is done to check for any underlying defects or faults. The number of defects is also checked against the acceptable quality limit to see if it doesn’t exceed the number.
- Conformity Assessment is another step that needs to be taken care of. Verification of dimensions, measurements, material and construction quality, the product’s durability, etc., is given due importance, and the defects are classified as minor or major, depending on the standard specification mentioned by the importer.
- Safety Tests during Pre-Shipment Inspection are run as per the products under Inspection. Different safety tests for fabrics, electrical and electronic items, mechanical parts, etc., cover various technical aspects. The results help determine if the items conform with the set quality and safety standards.
- The inspectors generate a final Pre-Shipment Inspection report after the evaluation is complete. The report covers details of the findings during the Inspection. The faults and defects are noted and categorized. All the tests and procedures undergone during the inspection cycle are mentioned with their results. Also, after a thorough technical analysis, a preventive action plan is submitted to the plant’s management to ensure the shipment is complete and on par with quality.
A Pre-Shipment Inspection Checklist
As part of the Pre-Shipment Inspection, there are many things to consider. A pre-shipment inspection checklist is meant to cater to every possible prospect of Inspection such that everything is noticed during the entire inspection cycle. It also helps to maintain the bottom line and gives accuracy to the tests and procedures undertaken during the examination. Let us see some points on the Pre-Shipment Inspection checklist-
- The wrong quantity of items can lead to enormous losses for the importer. Receiving the right amount of consignment breaks the import/export cycle, impacting business positively. These scenarios also hamper a unit’s reputation and directly affect clients.
- Any restricted chemicals and substances forbidden by national, international, or local law cannot be used as a primary or side raw material during manufacturing.
- The packaging material and containers must adhere to the product specification so that the products fit the containers. The measurements and dimensions should be accurate.
- Check for any visible physical defects on the finished items. The design, branding, shape, and size must be thoroughly evaluated.
- Labels and barcodes are not to be left out. Wrong information on the label of the consignment or barcode can lead to consignment reversal or customs issues.
Importance of Pre-Shipment Inspection Services
A Pre-Shipment Inspection is the final call to ensure the quality and safety of your products before they are shipped for delivery. This last chance is a massive advantage for importers to look for any final faults that could lead to business issues. Let us go through some significant advantages of a Pre-Shipment Inspection service-
- The pre-shipment Inspection helps in understanding the standards and specifications better.
- It helps test the products against the guidelines before the final delivery to validate the shipment’s conformity with the regulations.
- It also helps assign the rectification procedure on the go to instantly correct the risks and defects.
- Delays in deliveries can be avoided.
- The Pre-Shipment Inspection report helps understand the areas of improvement and bridges any communication gap between the importer and the supplier.
- The importer need not be available on-site during the inspection cycle.
- Proper quality assessment procedures guarantee the quality and safety parameters of the shipment.
Let VERGER Guide you with Pre-Shipment Inspection.
VERGER Group is a NABCB-assessed, ISO-17020 accredited Inspection Body working with clients globally. We are known for our global reach, fast-paced solutions, and accurate inspection reports. We are well-equipped to deliver our services worldwide and have a fair-pricing system in place.