Pre-Shipment Inspection in 7 Simple Steps


Implementing an inspection method is an essential factor in the quality control domain for every trade operator including sellers, manufacturers, and buyers who take pride in their supreme quality standards and delighted customers. In recent times, plenty of inspection procedures have been oriented which are executed at several distinct stages during the manufacturing and shipment processes. However, Pre-Shipment Inspection is the kind that is now widely conducted to gain an upper hand in quality control. All thanks to its numerous benefits.

Nonetheless, merchants and dealers around the world are still not clear about how the PSI inspection proceeds. For this reason, we explain the Pre-Shipment Inspection in 7 simple yet significant steps. But before digging into them, let’s take a look at the fundamentals.


A Pre-Shipment Inspection is carried out prior to shipment when 100 percent of products are manufactured and almost 80 percent are packaged as well. The primary objective is to secure the quality and quantity of commodities before they are dispatched to avert low-quality products from reaching the market.


An “Agreement On Pre-Shipment Inspection” was officially given an introduction under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), later superseded by World Trade Organization (WTO).

Under this pact, several commitments were incorporated which a Pre-Shipment Inspection must oblige to. These comprise:

✓ The entire inspection process should be non-discriminatory.

✓ The Pre-Shipment Inspection Procedure should remain transparent.

✓ Every confidential business knowledge should be safeguarded.

✓ Delays in shipments should not be induced by a PSI.

✓ The cost of inspected goods should conform to the average market value.

✓ Inspections cannot be delivered for commodities below the minimum value established by the agency.

✓ Requests can be filed under this arrangement.

7 Main Steps of the Pre-Shipment Inspection Method

When you intend to conduct a Pre-Shipment Inspection for your inventory, a precise procedure will go through the subsequent significant stages which are as follows:

  1. Order Placement and Inspector Visit

The placement of an order requesting a PSI service is usually the first stage in the inspection process. For the most part, this step is enforced by the traders who want to ensure that the product quality, quantity, labeling, and packaging are according to the provided specifications. On the mutually determined date and duration, highly qualified inspectors allocated by the agencies visit the production house or manufactory to perform an inspection. However, some products can include restrictive chemicals such as lead, organic tin compounds, Azo dyes, and phthalates so the inspectors may suggest off-site lab testing of such products that direct particular handling.

  • Quantity Verification

This measure marks the inception of an inspection during which the inspectors estimate the number of cartons and crates to ascertain that the articles and cartons fulfill the quantity requirements settled on between the supplier and the consumer. Therefore, a PSI inspection can also function to prompt payment for a letter of credit between the trade operators.

  • Random Sampling

The inspection team then moves on to randomly designating the samples that have to be reviewed. The sampling process is implemented under the internationally acknowledged sampling regulations ANSI/ASQC Z1.4 ( ISO 2859-1 ). The Acceptance Quality Limited (AQL) also specifies the portion of shortcomings that can be tolerated before the whole batch of products is repudiated.

  • Workmanship Evaluation

First and foremost, the inspection team evaluates the visual appearance and all-around workmanship of the manufactured products according to the provided specifications. Every inspection unit has its criteria for ranking the defects but it ultimately depends on the dealer’s specifications. The defects that arise are categorized into three sorts which are:

A.           Minor Defects that don’t impact the structure and operation of a product.

B.           Major Defects that adversely influenced the function, execution, or appearance of a product.

C.           Critical Defects are the extreme defects due to which inutile products are discarded.

  • Dimensional Verification

The product proportions using quantifiable variables are verified according to the parameters provided by the trade operators because precise and authentic measurements are vital to any thriving manufacturing line. Likewise, damaged packs and unsatisfactory pieces are unveiled thus permitting the chance for rectifications.  Valid labelling and packaging that complies with the market criteria is also scrutinized to permit solely high-quality packaging and accurate labeling to reach the target consumers.

  • Functionality Testing

The inventory is practically assessed to ensure that the product operates in the manner it is considered to. Serviceable defects might be disclosed during this stage thus preventing lagged costly reforms.

  • Safety Assessment

This phase comprises tests for two crucial parameters which are mechanical safety and electrical safety.

Mechanical safety testing is carried out for products that have pointed peripheries or pruning components that could cause potential injuries. Screws and nails that are a component of moving entities are also analyzed by the inspection team.

Electrical safety testing is performed for products that have an electrical component to ensure their compliance. However, electrical products usually experiment on in an off-site zone as they might endanger the surroundings if performed at the warehouse or manufactory. Voltage, current leakage, and insulation resistance are some of the tests that are conducted to evaluate power fragments and ground continuity.


As the inspection process comes to an end, the inspection crew produces an inspection report declaring whether the products passed or failed to adhere to requirements. An elaborate account of every element of the product is cited in that report along with an outline of the pivotal findings. Pictorial images are also a part of the inspection report to provide a visual insight into the areas of concern.

Long story short, a Pre-Shipment Inspection has evolved as a prerequisite in the world of commerce and trade as it provides professional assurance about the quality, quantity, workmanship, visual craft, and functionality of commodities before they are dispatched for sale. In addition, an inspection report authorizing the product for compliance with mechanical and safety regulations can deliver assistance when dealing with customs regulations.