Pre-shipment Inspection

The Importance of Pre Shipment Inspection for Your Business

As a business owner, you want to ensure your products are of high quality before you ship them to your customers. This is especially important if you are expanding your business globally and dealing with different markets and regulations. Pre-shipment inspection (PSI) is a quality control process that can help you achieve this goal. It involves checking your products by a third-party inspector before they leave the factory. The inspector will look at your products’ appearance, functionality, and packaging and ensure they meet your specifications and standards. Pre-shipment inspection can help you avoid quality issues that can damage your reputation and cost you money.

How Pre-Shipment Inspection Benefits Your Business

Pre-shipment inspection can offer you many advantages, such as:

• Ensuring product quality: conducting PSI can help you catch any quality problems before they reach your customers. This way, you can ensure your products are safe, reliable, and consistent.

• Mitigating risks: PSI can help you reduce the risks of shipping defective products, such as product recalls, returns, and warranty claims. These can harm your reputation and result in financial losses.

• Complying with regulations: PSI  can help you comply with the regulations and standards of different countries and regions. This can help you avoid legal issues or penalties.

• Improving customer satisfaction: You can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by ensuring that your products meet customers’ expectations. This can lead to repeat business and positive reviews.

What are the Steps of Pre-Shipment Inspection?

Preparation: This step involves identifying the product to be inspected, choosing an inspection service provider, and arranging the logistics for the inspection.

Inspection: This step involves a visual inspection, functional testing, and product packaging checks. The inspector will use a checklist to compare your products with approved samples or prototypes. The inspector will also note any deviations or defects.

Reporting: After the inspection, the service provider will give you a detailed report that shows their findings and recommendations. You can then decide how to fix any issues before you ship your products.

How to Choose a Pre-Shipment Inspection Service Provider?

When choosing a PSI service provider, you should consider the following factors:

• Experience and expertise: The service provider should have experience and knowledge in inspecting your product category.

• Reputation: The service provider should have a good reputation in the industry and be known for delivering high-quality services.

• Certifications: To meet quality standards, the service provider should have relevant certifications, such as ISO 9001.

• Cost: The inspection cost should be competitive and reasonable compared to other service providers.

What is the Standard of Pre-Shipment Inspection?

The international standard for pre-shipment inspection is outlined in the ISO/IEC 17020:2012 standard. ISO/IEC 17020 is an internationally recognized standard that specifies the general requirements for the competence of inspection bodies. While it does not specifically focus on pre-shipment inspection, it provides a framework for inspection bodies to ensure impartiality, independence, and competence in performing inspections, including pre-shipment inspections.
ISO/IEC 17020 covers various aspects of inspection bodies’ operations, including management requirements, personnel competence, impartiality and independence, inspection processes, quality assurance, and handling of inspection results. It sets the criteria for inspection bodies to demonstrate their capability to conduct inspections effectively and produce reliable inspection results.
It’s worth noting that in addition to ISO/IEC 17020, there may be specific industry or product-specific standards that apply to pre-shipment inspection. These standards could be developed by industry associations, regulatory bodies, or international organizations depending on the sector or product being inspected. Therefore, it’s essential to consider both ISO/IEC 17020 and any relevant industry-specific standards when conducting pre-shipment inspections.

Who Pays for the Pre-Shipment Inspection?

Usually, the buyer or importer pays for the pre-shipment inspection. However, sometimes the cost may be shared between the buyer and the supplier. The PSI cost can depend on the product; the inspection method used, and the service provider.


Pre-shipment inspection is an important step in the supply chain that can help you deliver quality products to your customers. It can help you ensure product quality, mitigate risks, comply with regulations, and improve customer satisfaction. Following the pre-shipment inspection process and choosing the right service provider can achieve these benefits and grow your business.

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