China Pre-Shipment Inspection
Quality issues on products manufactured in China do happen and they often impair business profitability, affect brand image on the market and can mean lost sales, product returns and factories stopping production.
The most traditional kind of inspection that is performed on exports from China is the Pre-Shipment Inspection before shipment. After production is completed and all merchandise is ready and packed for shipment, inspectors randomly inspect batches of products to check compliance to the specifications and requirements, including cosmetics, function and packaging. It is based on a statistical approach know as AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) and defined during World War II for the US military, that allows to test only a small number of units out of a large batch of products.
What is checked during a Pre-Shipment Inspection?
Three types of issues can trigger the failure of the inspection, and potentially the refusal of the shipment by the purchaser:
1. Conformity to specs:
All the relevant aspects of the product are controlled: quantity, components, assembly, aesthetics, function, size, labeling, packaging, etc.
Ideally, the buyer has constituted a document listing all the specifications of the product to inspect, and these specs become the inspector’s checklist. When no such information is provided, the inspector simply collects information for the buyer’s review.
2. Number of visual defects:
Based on the sampling plan, the inspector selects a predefined number of products at random. He checks them one by one, and counts the number of defects, which are compared to the AQL limits.
3. On-site tests:
Depending on the type of products, certain tests are included in the inspector’s job. For example: a product drop test on 3 samples, from 80cm high on concrete floor (if at least 1 sample breaks or does not function any more, the test is failed).
Pre-Shipment Inspection(PSI) will ensure your products are consistent and compliant with all country, industry or otherwise-specified requirements and that no critical major or minor defects appear.