In 1994, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (“GATT 1994”)* called for the practice of pre-shipment inspections (“PSI”) in response to the rapidly expanding international trade market. To shield businesses from costly mistakes linked to flaws in production, the PSI serves as the final point of quality control before shipping.
Here, the packaging experts of Impak Retail provide packaging testing services that provide a broad overview of this critical phase.
*The World Trade Organization (“WTO”) has since replaced GATT as a permanent solution to a temporary treaty agreement.
PSI refers to the steps taken by operators to examine products before they are shipped out. It occurs when production nears completion and at least 80% of the order is packed to minimize the risk of masqueraded results.
Inspectors review the shipment to ensure it is compliant with the applicable terms of a contract or purchase order. Doing so helps ensure:
– Adherence to specifications
– Reduction of risk
– Minimized returns
– Client trust
– Peace of mind for shippers and receivers
There are seven pieces to a standard pre-shipping package inspection. They are:
– The inspection visit
– Quantity verification
– Random selection
– Cosmetic and workmanship check
– Conformity verification
– Function and safety test
– Final report
Pre-shipment inspections traditionally follow the acceptable quality limit (AQL). The AQL determines how many defective components are considered acceptable during random sampling quality inspections. Before beginning the inspection, the number of shipping containers will also be counted to verify that the correct amount of product is being sent to the correct location.
Then, inspectors will check the shipment for:
Workmanship defects: The first thing an inspector will check is the overall quality of the workmanship. They will check for any visible defects or flaws in the production and classify them as minor, major, or critical.
Product specifications: To ensure that the shipment is aligned with the terms of the contract, inspections are carried out on several items chosen at random using ISO 2859-1 (usually predetermined in the contract between the manufacturer and the client). Here inspectors are looking for compliance with quantity, dimensions, and other such specs.
Function and safety: Inspectors test the items to make sure the products work safely for their intended purpose.
Correct packing and packaging: Inspectors will also check that the products are packed with the correct materials, packaged correctly and uniformly, bundled according to proper quantities that they will be loaded according to their form of transport.
The final step in the pre-shipment inspection process is finalizing the inspection report which describes the findings of the PSI and whether or not the shipment passed inspection. It may also include comments from the inspector.
Impak works with clients to ensure approvals are met before shipment and maintains the highest standards for pre-shipping inspection. We aim to ensure accuracy and ease of receiving upon every shipment.