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PSI (Pre-Shipment Inspection) is a procedure to carry out a quality control procedure at the supplier’s place by either your independent quality control agency or QC department company in your reference. It is a commonplace check within the supplier industry in particular and helps, traders, wholesalers, importers, and retailers to check the quality of the products before shipping them to the customers. It protects against all the unplanned surprises and it shows that you know that your products are in a working order before the final delivery of the product. This is one of the most useful things to do before your supplier is midway worldwide.

You may have heard about these types of check called as FRI (Final Random Inspection) or FQC (Finished Quality Control). In real life, they are all similar, quality inspections are done once the entire order is manufactured and have 80% of product packed. However, some buyers choose to wait until the product is 100% packed before taken out for the testing.

Benefits of Pre-Shipment Inspection

There are plenty of benefits of PSI (Pre-Shipment Inspection). However, many people agree to a fact the quality of products produced in other countries, at the place where they are manufactured, is its wild card.

Moreover, quality control of products saves a lot of time. Once the products are delivered to the destination country, correcting errors becomes expensive and requires an additional delay of time and additional shipping. Therefore, you should identify all the faults and bugs in the product batch before you can ship the product to make it easier for suppliers to remove an issue from the particular product.

Pre-Shipment Inspection

Standards for Pre-Shipment Inspection

Whether the supplier company is using an in-house staff or third-party control company, there is a defined standard for creating sample procedures and accepting criteria that the majority of PSI inspectors follows:

  • Plans for Sampling

Inspectors would not test each product item individually. They use the sampling plans to find out how many samples they are required to pick randomly to get an overall view about the quality of the entire shipment in an accurate way. Meaning that it will save a lot of time and money for you. Particularly, it is beneficial when your inspection date is near to shipping date.

The general product inspection level 3 is one of the most extensive checks and samples of a large part of the shipment are taken compared general inspection level 1 which is at a lower level of the scale.

Selecting your AQL general inspection level depends on the quality of risk you are going to face and the type of products you are going to look at. For all the general consumer products, QC (Quality control services) recommend at least general inspection level 2, while pharmacy or automotive products should be checked at general inspection level 3.

Pre-Shipment Inspection

  • AQL (Acceptance Quality Limit)

The AQL is an excellent analysis table used in Asia and worldwide for PSI especially to check defects in consumer products. This model uses defined statistical number crunching to set the highest number of errors in a product batch before it gets the stamp of rejection.

The AQL differs from industry to industry, so it will always provide a balanced and unbiased view. You can further customize it according to your needs based on the expectation of the quality.

Pre-Shipment Inspection

  • Classification of Defects

According to the need of the buyer, PSI sampling is used to verify different aspects of quality. One of the most used in the consumer product industry is to identify the defects like major, critical or minor and define the accepted quality limit of each one of them.


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